Thursday, January 24, 2013
Teachers and PTSD
All over this country, teachers are suffering from clinical symptoms of stress as a result of a relentless effort to rate and micromanage everything they do, accompanied by a campaign of vilification in the media, that squeezes every ounce of joy out of a job they once loved. These cruel and heartless policies, forcefully imposed by politicians and the very wealthy, are being justified in the name of equity and opportunity, but children hardly gain when the people working with them on a daily basis are looking over their shoulders in fear. It will take parents and teachers and students working together to bring this nightmare to an end, but first people have to realize how much damage has already been don
Posted by Mark Naison at 10:49 AM
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I'm trying to anticipate the media's reaction: Lazy teachers, not used to doing any real work, are "panicing" and are "ill" when faced to do an honest day's work. Another case of "whining" (term used by Rod Paige, former sec. of education).
Of course, none of the critics would last one day in a real classroom.
My first year as a teacher, I was assaulted by a student in May. I lived with the physical and psychological damages for almost a year before getting psychological help. My school, my district, the UFT were all useless and tried to pretend like it didn't happen, while I was diagnosed with PTSD by my therapist. While I have mostly recovered and no longer go to therapy, I still deal with the physical damages. I still dream sometimes about the student and the trauma. I am working again, now in a new district with less social issues and a screening process for admissions, but I would be lying if I said I didn't still think about that moment everyday or that I wasn't scared. I think I would be an entirely different educator, an entirely different person had that moment not happened, and I wish I had gotten to know that version of me.
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