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Dealing with Frustration in the Teaching Profession

Janelle Cox

Frustration in the teaching profession is something that many educators go through at some point or another. It’s perfectly normal to feel frustrated when things aren’t going the way that you had hoped, or when someone isn’t behaving the way that you would like them to. Many times in the teaching profession, when things get tough, you may want to lean on your coworkers to vent to. However, is venting to your colleagues the right thing to do? How do you know that you trust them? Here we’ll take a look at how to tackle your frustration with the teaching profession, as well as look at if venting to your coworkers is a good idea.

Venting to Coworkers in the Teaching Profession

Most of us deal with frustration by venting to our coworkers. While this may seem like a good thing to do at the time, it’s not always wise. There are a few things you should think about before you go letting it all out to one of your colleagues.

Know Your Audience

First, you must know your audience. This is a tip that my best friend from high school has always lived by. She’s always told me to think about who you are venting to before you go blabbing out your personal thoughts. If you don’t like the way your administrator is treating you and you tell a coworker, that coworker may tell another coworker which may lead to the administrator finding out what you said. Choose a supportive audience who know you can trust (and it won’t get back to anyone) like your family or close friends.

Know Your Surroundings

If you’re going to vent to a coworker about anyone in your school district, then you better be aware of your surroundings. I will never forget when I was shopping and I overheard a teacher venting to another students’ parent about a fellow colleague. If you want to vent to someone make sure they are not a student or a parent. And also make sure you don’t talk about anyone in public because you never know who is listening.

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Watch What You Say

It’s understandable to want to vent to a coworker after a hard day with a difficult student. However, before you do so, think about how unprofessional and disrespectful that can be. Many schools frown upon their teachers venting to coworkers about other students. They look at is as a form of disrespect, and encourage their teachers to build a school community that’s based on student-teacher respect.

Mindful Tips to Tackle Teacher Frustration

Here are some mindful tips to help you deal with those pesky feelings of frustration.

Try NOT Venting to a Coworker

I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling frustrated, the first thing I want to do is talk about it, with anyone and everyone. The problem with venting is that while it may make you feel better for that moment that you’re letting it out, it doesn’t’ solve the problem. Next time you’re feeling frustrated, try thinking about how you can resolve the situation and make it better.

Put Things into Perspective

Take a moment to think about why you’re so frustrated and what you can do about it. Is it something that you can’t control? Will this still bother you tomorrow, next week, next year? What’s the worst-case scenario? What’s the best-case scenario? Put the situation into perspective, and you’ll see that it’s probably not as frustrating as you first thought.

Try a Different Point of View

How many times have you judged a book by its cover? In other words, how many times have you pre-judged something or someone to find out that it’s not what you first thought? Try looking at what’s frustrating you with a different point of view. That student who just yelled in the middle of class may be going through something that they can’t control at home. While looking at the situation through a different lens may not solve the problem, it can make you feel less frustrated with the situation.

Whether you’re frustrated about testing, administration support, student behavior, or a student’s parents, there isn’t anything that you can’t handle. Feeling frustration is a natural part of life, it’s how you deal with it that matters. If you’re going to vent, then make sure it’s to someone that you trust and in an environment that no one can overhear you.

How do you feel about teacher frustration in the teaching profession? Do you vent to your coworkers? Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.


Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.