It Only Lasted 4 Weeks (little long, but thanks for reading)

Timbresmith1

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The great thing about being a member of the great unwashed, is that I never fretted over a job. If I didn't like it I quit. I can understand how if you have a lot of time invested in learning to teach, you'd want to teach.

I applied for a job one time and the guy looked at my resume and said, you know TD, I like a guy who stays put on job. I knew from the start of the interview I had no chance at the job, so I laughed and said, "you know CG, I only put down about half of 'em!"

Funny thing is, I'd been hired by his son for the job, but at the last minute the old man stepped in and wanted to have me start at a lower position. I wasn't going for that anyway.

Early on in life I lost a job, and I guess I was looking kind of down. My buddy James asked what was wrong and I told him I'd lost my job. He said TD, go drive over an overpass on the freeway, look both directions at that line of traffic. None of them work where you did, but the biggest part of them are all working somewhere, there's a lot of jobs out there. Truer words have never been spoken.
Similar thing happened. Got offered a job at x dollars. The night before I was to start, the owner called and said someone on the shop floor had seen my hire papers and was upset at my starting pay, so I was going to have to accept the lower starting wage. I said “Nope. Not my fault you left my paperwork visible for casual viewing. Goodbye.”
 

Telekarster

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Similar thing happened. Got offered a job at x dollars. The night before I was to start, the owner called and said someone on the shop floor had seen my hire papers and was upset at my starting pay, so I was going to have to accept the lower starting wage. I said “Nope. Not my fault you left my paperwork visible for casual viewing. Goodbye.”

Geesh.... what a bunch o tools. I'd say you likely dodged a big bullet. That place probably would've been a nightmare to work for.
 

teletimetx

Doctor of Teleocity
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Frontrangia CO
Stress is where you look out the window your small plane, after looking at you map you're supposed to be flying over a town, the only thing you can see below you is mountains and trees. That's STRESS!
Nope - I’m gonna take the counterpoint here, TD. Every plane is equipped with stuff to handle that problem and pilots, even the ones wearing cargo shorts have been trained to figure out some way to solve that problem.

In that line of thinking, I would say that waking up with the steering wheel of a truck in your hands, while doing 65mph and you are surrounded by trees and no road in sight would be real Stress!
 

JuneauMike

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I hope that in time you can learn to function and even flourish in the face of stress, rather than finding off ramps to avoid it. It sounds like you are dealing with some impairments that I honestly don't understand, which is ok. I know some people find stress a debilitating thing, but it's actually a really healthy and good thing provided it's the right sort of stress. A lot of that starts with us, and our desire to do work that is meaningful to us, work that we feel is worthwhile to our society, or better yet, just our neighborhood. Anyway, hope you get better. You are praying about it, so that's a good start.
 

Timbresmith1

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Geesh.... what a bunch o tools. I'd say you likely dodged a big bullet. That place probably would've been a nightmare to work for.
I had worked for them previously…they had asked people to come in and work Saturdays voluntarily to help the company out of a tight spot. A few weeks later the sales director showed up in a new BMW…
 

JuneauMike

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My first day on the job I realized I'd made a terrible mistake. Academic advising has NOTHING to do with helping students learn and develop skills to be successful at college and life. It is simply moving "digital paper from one box to the next". You meet with undergrad students and tell them what classes to take. You then follow up with them when they screw up and clean up their messes while being thrown under the bus for their messes.
BTW, this seems like it is exactly about helping students learn and develop skills to be successful at college and life. And what you are describing as your experience is similar to the trap that cops, firefighters, and emergency room folks can easily fall into. You and I can see a community in its totality, the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. But those folks see the underbelly of it all and it can give them the false impression that the people that they encounter are a representative sample of the community in its entirety.

Some students lean on their academic advisors because they aren't as adept at navigating the college bureaucracy yet, or aren't versed in its unique language. Many of them may not be that good at following instructions, doing things they don't like or at setting long term or even short term goals.

I never had much use for an advisor in college, but I was an older student. Yet, I knew students (not very mature kids at all) who were constantly meeting with advisors or dropping classes, changing majors, etc. Those are probably the ones you see most frequently. It's easy to lose sight of the kids you have a brief encounter with and who sorta figure it out on their own. In any case, you are helping them navigate a labyrinth of college course offerings, and in a way, helping them to see the rest of the world as something that also needs to be navigated as well.

Anyway, my $0.02, FWIW.
 

OmegaWoods

Tele-Afflicted
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Best of luck to you. If you don’t, please consider taking a vitamin D supplement once a day. It has been helping me immensely for the last four years.
 

thankyouguitar

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I posted several months back about how much anxiety and stress I was experiencing as a middle school PE teacher. I really appreciate all the great advice from everyone here on the forum. Trauma from childhood and the military were bubbling up pretty bad the last couple years, and I needed OUT of that environment. Ultimately I decided that I needed to step away from teaching as my mental and emotional health had deteriorated to never before felt lows.

College is about the only place I've felt really successful, so I found a job at my Alma Mater as an academic advisor. As expected I was stressed about moving my family to a new (old) state, again, but I was excited about the opportunity to help college students learn the skills needed to be successful in college. Having been a non-traditional college student; Married, A veteran, and a first generation student I felt well equipped to help students navigate the demands of college academics and life. I also believed that working with college students would be less stressful that working with middle school students. I was wrong.

My first day on the job I realized I'd made a terrible mistake. Academic advising has NOTHING to do with helping students learn and develop skills to be successful at college and life. It is simply moving "digital paper from one box to the next". You meet with undergrad students and tell them what classes to take. You then follow up with them when they screw up and clean up their messes while being thrown under the bus for their messes. I found out on day two that the college I was assigned to advise has the highest turnover due to burnout of any advisor position on campus. The last 2 didn't last 6 months. I beat them both.

Within a couple days I started to really struggle with all my mental/emotional burnout on the job. My wife was getting pretty worried for me, and wanted me to quit. My best friend who is also an elder in our church advised me to listen to my wife. Another friend who is a pastor that I highly respect and trust told me I need to step away for a season to get healthy. I called my VA psych, and he told me to step away. He reminded me that if I don't remove some of the key stressors I'll never get healthy (If anyone knows the VA they always tell you to keep working). I was still unsure what to do. My wife and I prayed all night Tuesday. I really didn't sleep much at all.

I walked into my bosses office on Wednesday for our weekly meeting without having my mind made up whether I would quit or keep going. I told her what was going on, how I was feeling, and how much I've been struggling. She advised me to walk away, and she told me that it's actually pretty common for academic advisors to leave within the first month. It's possibly the highest turnover/highest burnout position in higher education according to some sources. I gave her my two weeks, but since I haven't been assigned any students I was told I could finish the week then call it all good.

So today is my last day as an academic advisor. I have the ability so I'm going to take a couple months off and heal up. I have a good support system around me, and I've reached out to a therapist that specializes in EMDR. God willing, by His grace I'll improve to the point I can go back to teaching. I really do love teaching PE (just not in a middle school). If not, I'll move on to something else that is meaningful and gainful.

I made a mistake in taking this job, but I didn't make a mistake in moving my family back to a state we love and community we enjoy. Quitting might prove to be a mistake, but only time will tell.

Why am I telling this to a bunch of strangers on the internet? Catharsis. Commiserate. Community.
As I continue to try and remind myself:

-the courage to try things is itself a virtue
-we define our successes and failures
-knowledge is its own reward.

Thank you for sharing your story. Strength to you on your journey.
 

Addnine

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New England
I taught for 40 years. Teaching at a c---p school is a wholly different thing than teaching at a good school: not the same job at all. I could never teach middle schoolers. I have mentored dozens of teachers. I always told them that finding the right age group is more important even than finding the right discipline. I have most enjoyed teaching high school seniors, college kids, and - presently - adult ed. You can goof around with high schoolers, they get your jokes. Middle schoolers (Think back!) are just insane.
 

getbent

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In my youth, I used to guide which involved backpacking a lot to get to places to fish etc.

Often, people would have either too much pack, or too much stuff or folks would go the first couple of miles with their straps misadjusted or not wearing their waist belt strap at all!

We made it a habit to check people before we left, advise them, know they would ignore us, then stop at 2 miles and fix loads.

In many cases, it was a load they just weren't going to be able to tote. In others, it was just adjustments. We had a 'stash point' there where things that we knew would not benefit would get tarped and stashed and we'd pick up on return. Most of the time, everyone made it, but sometimes we'd have to take folks down.

Work is kind of like that. You have a reached a point where you know the load isn't right and you are uncomfortable. Is it just a strap adjustment or have you not worn your waist belt? It sounds like you may be overloaded and maybe need to unpack and repack and maybe leave some things at the stash point before moving on.

A few weeks and some educated ears to help you figure it out sound right.

You aren't so far up the trail that you will have to struggle too much before you get back up the trail. What is there will wait for you, get your load right and you'll be able to make the trip and enjoy it. Getting to camp tired and worked is great, but there is no reason to be the guy that the whole camp has to worry about because he is being fake brave or 'toughing it out'.

We're rooting for you man!
 

Lowspeid

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Feb 4, 2021
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Pac NW
In my youth, I used to guide which involved backpacking a lot to get to places to fish etc.

Often, people would have either too much pack, or too much stuff or folks would go the first couple of miles with their straps misadjusted or not wearing their waist belt strap at all!

We made it a habit to check people before we left, advise them, know they would ignore us, then stop at 2 miles and fix loads.

In many cases, it was a load they just weren't going to be able to tote. In others, it was just adjustments. We had a 'stash point' there where things that we knew would not benefit would get tarped and stashed and we'd pick up on return. Most of the time, everyone made it, but sometimes we'd have to take folks down.

Work is kind of like that. You have a reached a point where you know the load isn't right and you are uncomfortable. Is it just a strap adjustment or have you not worn your waist belt? It sounds like you may be overloaded and maybe need to unpack and repack and maybe leave some things at the stash point before moving on.

A few weeks and some educated ears to help you figure it out sound right.

You aren't so far up the trail that you will have to struggle too much before you get back up the trail. What is there will wait for you, get your load right and you'll be able to make the trip and enjoy it. Getting to camp tired and worked is great, but there is no reason to be the guy that the whole camp has to worry about because he is being fake brave or 'toughing it out'.

We're rooting for you man!
@getbent that may be the best analogy I’ve heard, and describes where I’m at. Thank you for this, and thank you for the support.
 




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