Life Update | Anxiety, Depression, & Student Teaching

life update

life update

It’s been awhile since I’ve just sat down and talked to you guys so I thought I’d do a little life update in the midst of all our regularly scheduled programming. So, as most of you know, my major is basically everything to me this past Friday, I had my first day of student teaching. This brought a whirlwind of emotions into my head. Although the day went well and I truly feel that I am going to enjoy this placement as well as my others later in the semester, I am still doubting myself in so many ways. I am a long-time sufferer of anxiety and depression. I have been battling my mental health for as long as I can remember. There have been days that I hardly check my phone and I just sleep the day away because I am so mentally exhausted.

My job is a very socially interactive deal and it takes a lot out of me every shift in order to stay happy, smiling, and provide, in relation to my opinions, the best customer service. It’s weird to actually say to someone, but I really am a very positive and generally happy person. When my anxiety and depression subside, I feel like my best self. I can talk to people all day, I am so confident in my abilities, and I feel like others see my true self. Here lately, those days have been few and far between.

I don’t know if it’s the things that are lingering in my mind or just an overall emotional breakdown, but I am just having a hard time pushing myself to get out of bed every morning. I constantly feel like someone is judging me, talking badly about me, or just trying to hurt me, when I know this isn’t the case. It’s even harder to deal with because these were all things that I confided to my mom about. If you have been around for awhile, you know my mom passed away last September and we are coming up on the one year mark. I honestly think this has the majority to do with my issues here lately.

Although I have some extremely supportive figures in my life, one in particular, that are always there for me whenever I need someone to talk to, I am constantly feeling as though I am a burden. In the back of my mind, I know that this is not true. I know that I am worth more than I think. I know that people care about me. I know that I have people I can talk to, but I still have problems battling that inner voice that tells me, “No, you’re not good enough. No one cares that you’re depressed. No one wants to hear your complaining. No. One. Cares.

In regards to student teaching, I am hoping that, over time, I will have enough confidence in my placements to work past these mental health battles that I am having. The classroom has always been where I am the happiest and where I feel that I shine the most. I love my career choice and wouldn’t change my path for anything in the world, but having my mind makes some days more difficult than others. It is times like these when I go to positive blog posts, quotes, and try my best (sometimes unsuccessfully) to reach out to those who I know will be there.

Here’s a quote that really speaks to me:

She was powerful, not because she wasn’t scared, but because she went on so strongly, despite the fear. – Atticus

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Do my tattoos make me a bad teacher?

new tattoo

I’ve had something on my mind lately that was triggered by getting a new tattoo! Yes, I got some new ink to go with my other four. Every time I think about getting a tattoo, I have to think about my career. If you guys didn’t know, my major is special education with an emphasis in elementary. This means that I have to be very particular with where I get my tattoos, just in case. Although none of mine are offensive, most are related to family actually, I have to worry about this in my workplace.

new tattoo

I have never understood the idea that having tattoos somehow makes you unprofessional or unable to do your job. I like to think that I am a pretty good teacher. I have gotten excellent grades in all my courses, praised by my professors, and given awesome feedback from master teachers who have observed me. I honestly feel that I will be an asset to whatever school I start working at upon graduation… but do my tattoos make me a bad teacher?

Does this mean that I cannot connect with my students? Do they keep me from being able to teach my kids how to spell a word or complete a math problem? Do they stop me from understanding their problems? Do they keep me from being active in their lives, in the classroom and in school activities? Does having them keep me from being on level with their parents and communicating well? No… I don’t think so. I think I can do all of these things while having five or even twenty tattoos. Yes, I agree that they need to be respectful and acceptable for students to see, if they are visible when wearing clothing, but I do not think that that we should have to work to cover the art that we put on our bodies.

I am proud of my tattoos. They all have meaning and they all mean something to me. I do not think that this problem only happens in the area of education, but I do think that it seems to be a more persistent problem in this field, due to being around children who watch and follow our every move (even in high school).

So, let me ask you… do my tattoos make me a bad teacher?

xo Kimberly Signature

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