I was going to put this into the discernment sub-forum, but since it does not directly relate with my discernment of religious life, I didn’t think it appropriate there, given the guidelines.
About three months ago, I began teaching at a Catholic high school. I have a degree in the field in which I am teaching, but this is my first year actually teaching in a classroom. To be quite honest, I never wanted to teach high school. I want to teach, yes, quite much so, but at the college (not high school) level. Many of the students at the school I teach are simply vicious and vulgar. Many students hardly act like Catholics. Every day I dread going to work, knowing how exhausted I will be at the end of the day, and then knowing that I also will have to work in the evening–no escape from the job.
Through detentions and speaking with several students, I have maintained a fair degree of control of the classroom, but the students are still quite intractable, even after giving them multiple detentions. I’ve spoken with several parents on the phone, but the kids still misbehave. I
I noticed on one of the threads in the vocations sub-forum the issue of Social Anxiety. I in fact have this problem and have had it for much of my life. It’s been a great struggle for me to teach, as I become naturally uncomfortable speaking in front of groups. I’ve been on several SSRI’s in the past to address this problem, in addition to counseling, but none of these has significantly helped. The problem wouldn’t be so bad, except that the students pick up on this and think of it as an opportunity to misbehave. I can now handle speaking in front of groups, but the students and how they act makes me frustrated.
In any case, this has been the most stressful job I’ve ever had. Usually I do quite well at jobs, but here I’m finding the job completely miserable. Do you think I should volunteer to decline to renew my contract? I’ve been criticized by several persons, and I’m not one who usually is criticized. I just wonder if my personality is really what is needed for a high school teacher, and I think, all said, that I would be much happier in a college setting. The one problem: I only have an M.A. and I have some loans to pay back for the M.A. I do very much want to work towards a Ph.D. in Systematic or Historical Theology, and I feel confident that I would be much better situated in a college setting where the focus is much more on learning and much less on being a baby sitter.
What do you think, given all I have written?