Howdy y’all, I’ve got a question for the folks who went into teaching or made it through any major, really,

How did YOU get yourself through your program?

How did you push through, in those classes that were beating you down and making you question both your own skills and whether or not the career path you’d hoped to go down was REALLY the way you ought to go?

Many of you know I got into that SPED teaching program I’d hoped to enter. It’s HARD, like I expected, and in 3 of the 4 classes, often overwhelming—but in the “this is HARD, but it’s GOOD-hard, and it’s stretching my skills & making me better & stronger.*” way.

But in our 4th class, it’s very much the opposite.

Every night I’ve walked out of class for our last 3 meetings, I’ve gotten to my car and just cried.

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I feel SO incredibly stupid after every in-person session (and I’m NOT the only one, most of the other students have voiced similar thoughts!). After we meet, I literally feel like a failure. Like I’m so dumb, I’ll never understand the information, and tonight, the professor’s throwaway line of “I LOVE projects like this!** If you don’t like this sort of thing, you should probably rethink your decision to go in to this field, and you should probably find another profession” thoroughly chapped my hide.

This isn’t the first, second, or even THIRD time this professor has made comments of this nature—last week it was something about how “When I was getting my doctorate, I had to drive 2 hours each way to campus! So, I don’t want to hear about how you only have to drive an hour. I know what it’s like. If I can make it through, you can, too.” (with the implied message being, “After all, this is *only* a bachelor’s degree program!”)

There are MANY of us (out of the 16 left in our cohort—one ALREADY quit!), who are so frustrated with our feelings of failure & the constant stress, that 1. We’re not sure we can pass, and 2. We mostly feel like we’re just going to fail anyway, so why NOT just quit?

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Is that NORMAL, in a teacher-training program????

Did y’all feel like complete failures—on the regular—in your programs?

And lastly, are these the sorts of frustrations that we should bring to our program’s head?

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I swear on all that is holy, that if NOTHING else, if my classmates and i pass this class, most of us will have ALL the empathy in the world for our special education students!!!!! Every day we go to this class, most of us walk out feeling at best, dumb, and at worst, too stupid to learn.😕😔😢

That’s what’s had me crying in my car the last three weeks—i KNOW I’m not dumb (I’m a Phi Theta Kappa member from my AA degree schools, ffs!!!). But (like most of my classmates!) I walk out of her room completely demoralized every week, questioning my validity & abilities as a student, and thoroughly insecure in any abilities I *thought* I had regarding my skills/capacity to learn.

*that whole “Zone of Proximal Development” thing, where students get pushed to their limits, but also supported juuuust enough that they feel encouraged to keep going, and NOT frustrated so much that they give up/quit.

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**We’re doing a “Deconstructed Learning Segment” which involves: planning three lessons; about 10 different videos we have to make; breaking down various aspects of those lessons; it has to be presented in a “poster” format; with QR codes linking to all the videos; we need to type up a breakdown of the whole shebang; we have to decide, develop, & write up goals/objectives for the lesson which meet common core standards; we have to determine all the demographic info on our imaginary class; AND we only have one week to get it done.

Along with all the other assignments due in our three other 4-credit (400-level) classes.