I love my job... Most of the time. Many of us feel the same way, but what do you do when you are overwhelmed, especially with a new job, and you can't even stomach the thought of going in to work the next morning?
Here are some tips I have tried for when the going got tough.
1. Fake it. Plaster a smile on your face. At some point, that fake smile will turn into a real smile.
2. Take some time for yourself. Please schedule time for prep and lunch, most districts have it in your contract - take advantage of it. Close the door, put on your favorite relaxing music, take a chocolate break, whatever you need to get yourself through the next part of your day.
3. Focus on what you want out of your job, not how much you need to escape it. We all are in this field because we care about people, and want to help them live their lives to the best of their abilities. If administrators are driving you crazy or teachers feel they know more about your job than you, focus on why you are there and what you are doing. What was your goal in taking the position? Remember the positives, the smiles from your students, their successes, progress you see, no matter how small.
4. Learn more. If you think you are unqualified to treat some of your students, find a continuing education class in the area(s) in which you lack knowledge. Speechpathology.com is $99 a year and offers a plethora of courses to assist in developing your skills. Meet with colleagues or other SLPs in your district or community who can give you some insight into working with a particular disability or area in which you are inexperienced, such as AAC, apraxia, etc.... Seasoned therapists can be great resources.
5. Something I had to learn two years ago-wear your protective armor when you enter your workplace. Some people, administrators, coworkers, and parents thrive in seeng others' insecurities. This all goes back to number 1, fake it til you make it, smile even though you may want to cry. I wear my heart on my sleeve and when I had an issue at work that blew up, I spent a year learning relaxation techniques, and other ways to just get through each day. I thrived that year, and exceeded even my expectations.
We are not perfect, we don't know everything about our complex, but rewarding, profession. Ask for help, vent in appropriate places, and go in every day knowing that you make a difference in the lives of your students!