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I am not sure what I am supposed to do


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Hi all! This is my first time posting, so forgive me if this is a bit long winded. The title of this post is both about my life, as well as my decision of which forum to post this question on, haha.

I am basically a teacher's assistant, and I don't make a whole lot of money. What I love about it, is that the health insurance is great, and I have great hours; whenever the students are off, I am off. I pick up another part time job during the summers.

I went into this initially to start chipping away at my loans while I decided what I want to major in (I have a two year degree), and also because I love children. I was ecstatic when I first got this job. I do not want to be a teacher, but I enjoy working with children one on one and getting to know them.

Lately though, I dread going in so much I can hardly sleep. Usually I will have a drink before bed to ease the restlessness. I have GAD, so anxiety now and then is expected, but this is just stressful.

I am hesitant to go back to school. I feel like an outsider, as I don't have a career I want to pursue or a certain amount of money I want to make. A lot of my friends who have graduated are no better off than I am. I only want a job that will not drive my anxiety up the wall, while enabling me to be financially okay.

A lot of the children I work with are deliberately difficult, day in and day out. I always pump myself up for work and go in with a smile, but by the end of the day, I'm worn down. There is only so much I can do in my position. I'm getting pretty tired of it.

I'm unsure of what to do next. I worked retail prior and did not enjoy that much, but given my current situation, I'd consider going back to it if it paid as much. I'm pretty sure I need a job change, but I'm not sure if maybe I need to talk to someone about my anxiety, as well. Any advice is appreciated.

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Well....working with children of any age in any capacity IS a highly stressful, challenging job.


Even for the most calm and balanced person, the job is exhausting. Anyway, when it reaches a point where your work is affecting your health, it's definitely time for change. Consider maybe an office manager type position or some other office clerical type work where the duties are more mundane and the people you have to deal with are friendlier. More like smaller office environment. It will also give you different kinds of skills to put on your resume.


Anyway, please do not drink to deal with anxiety. Go see a doctor and get help for that and do start looking for a new job. Anxiety is often your body's way of telling you that you need to get out of a bad situation. In a way, you are supposed to feel it so it drives you to correct the problem - aka get out of the bad neighborhood, change jobs, etc. You aren't really supposed to medicate the problem away while carrying on without change. However, since you've reached a level where you are self medicating with alcohol....definitely time to do something concrete about it and get whatever help you need so you don't add alcoholic and liver damage to your list of problems.

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I suggest you decide upon a career path. What 2 year degree do you have? If you have anxiety, i suggest you seek professional help for it.


A lot of the children I work with are deliberately difficult, day in and day out.


I really doubt that. Young children, especially, are difficult because they don't know how to express their feelings. They might not truly "get" what you are trying to teach them and are acting in frustration, or they could have problems at home and its coming out at school. I know many teachers, and kids don't sit in the desks with their hands folded with a beaming smile day in or day out. They are kids.

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Ah, I knew I would get this comment. I understand how a child's brain works, as I worked with children prior to this job. I do not expect them to be compliant or smiling all of the time, they have bad days and get frustrated just like we do. I do my best to accommodate children that are struggling in any way, especially if they have a difficult home life. Yes, they are kids, but they are capable of at least some empathy and respect towards adults who want nothing more than for them to succeed. I have had the capacity to work with a wide range of kids since I was in my teens, and maybe I just lack that now. Being belligerent on a daily basis is not acceptable "just kids" behavior, and that is what I'm dealing with here. I do not feel adequately equipped, or rather, trained, to know what to do in response to this sort of behavior. I'll admit that. It is stressful. I feared posting that bit due to judgments. You don't know the entirety of the situation. No need to be so critical.

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Yeah, working with children is stressful, but it is also extremely rewarding. I have taken it in stride up until recently. It is definitely worth the bad days when you see progress. I recently started working with a different group though, and I fear the reason for the switch is that the previous assistant did not know how to handle a couple of children in the class.

Maybe I am burned out.

Thank you for the advice. I greatly appreciate it.

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