Roxanna EldenIf you’ve had a bad day recently — or even a string of bad days — you’re not alone. The October-November disillusionment phase is the period in which new teachers are most likely to burst into tears in public, type up resignation letters “just in case,” or fantasize about driving off a bridge on the way to work.

It’s important to find ways to nurse yourself back to mental health when necessary. Equally important, though, is knowing what NOT to do. Start by avoiding the five common mistakes below, which can make a bad day feel even worse.

Watching “inspiring” teacher movies:

When you watched these movies before you started teaching, you probably thought, “That will be me one day! I’ll be the teacher who (pick one) shows I care/never gives up/makes learning fun!” Now, you’re just wondering why the movie teacher has only one class of high school students and why she never seems to grade any papers. Movies are a lot less inspiring when the non-Hollywood, unscripted version is playing full time in your classroom. Leave these films for their intended audience — the nonteaching public. Watch “inspiring” shows about doctors and policemen instead.

Talking to people who cautioned you against being a teacher:

Hey, they were only looking out for you when they told you what the pay was (pretty much what it is), how the kids would act (more or less they way they’re acting), and how you would feel (more or less the way you feel right now). They don’t want to say they told you so … but they told you so. And since they were right about it the first time, they’d like to share a few more thoughts about just how bad a

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