Last year, I taught in one of Massachusetts’ most challenged schools. The district had been taken over by the state for chronically poor performance, and our school and local community had many unmet needs. No doubt, teaching in general is hard, but teaching in a struggling system can raise stress levels to new heights.
The late fall was the worst of times. Students began to push the limits of our classroom rules, and our school leaders did not consistently enforce them. Lesson plans began to pile on, and our administrators were too overwhelmed with their own workloads to support us, the teachers.