I am a big fan of keeping my blog positive, but today’s prompt for the 31 Day Blog Challenge is supposed to be about a difficult time in my life. What to write about?
Probably one of the worst times in my life was when I taught 8th grade American History, about 7 years ago. I was very excited to get the job, but wasn’t that thrilled it was middle school instead of high school. The school was a top rated school in a great area, so I figured I would still have a good experience, even though I preferred the high school age range. Little did I know how bad it would be!
I loved American History and hoped I would have a good time with my classes. While I did have lots of great kids, they were few and far between compared to the difficult ones who constantly misbehaved. I even had one class that threw books at me and one horrible child threw a desk. The worst part was that I was put in the very last portable adjacent to the gym track. It was the farthest one from the front of the school entrance, so any time I had a problem, it took FOREVER (like, sometimes 20 minutes) for the security team or assistant principal to get out to help me. There were many times I felt unsafe and threatened by some of the worst-behaving kids (who I assume probably ended up in prison or will be there soon).
I am happy that I had some great students who never gave me a problem because they always brightened my bad days, and I still keep in touch with some of them today via Facebook. They are adults now, making lives for themselves, and it’s fun to watch them grow up. Sadly most of the kids were pretty awful and it really ruined the whole experience for me.
By the end of the school year, I was so emotionally and physically affected by this horrible job that I developed an ulcer and could barely eat and often threw up in the mornings before leaving for work. I lost over 20lb due to stress. The school was not supportive towards my needs, never provided me with any real help, and at the end of the year, I quit my job and never looked back!
My husband and I had started our photography business earlier that year, and thankfully it was doing well enough that I was able to simply walk away from my teaching job without a problem. Thank goodness for that… I don’t know how middle school teachers do it year after year. Teaching 8th grade was by far the worst job I have ever taken and thinking about my experiences make me even more grateful that I have a job that I love now and work for myself.
I am proud of myself, however, that I made it through the end of the school year without just quitting part-way through (I was tempted). I am also proud of myself that I always held it together in front of the kids no matter how awful my day was.
Have you ever had a job that was so awful it affected your health? What did you do about it?