SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: God Damn PTSD

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

God Damn PTSD

So I spent the beginning of a school year in a school (except for the 2 hours back in 2013 until I was served papers) for the first time since 2013. Did my best to lay low, stayed quiet, helped out. Asked if I can go to lunch, stayed late on Tuesday, asked if I could have coffee when breakfast was served yesterday. Did what I had to do. Until this afternoon.

"Mr Zucker, please report to the main office. Mr Zucker, please report to the main office."

Oh, oh I thought. Did I do something?

As I was heading down to the office I racked my brain on what I possibly could have done.

Had I left early for lunch today? Just before I got outside I looked at my watch and it said 11:29:35 AM. Maybe I should have waited another 15 seconds.

I had clocked in a few minutes early and still had time to run across the street and pick up my pre-ordered breakfast. I was back in the cafeteria by 8 AM.

Maybe I just didn't  sign the acknowledgement that I had gotten the chancellor's regulations in yet even though we were told that we had until Friday.

Maybe I had left the toilet seat up?

Whatever it was it had to be bad.

I got to the office and the new AP was there. I asked her what I did. She said with a smile, "Nothing, just go in (principal's office) and we'll talk." OK, I thought.

So I walked in and the principal was standing at her door. I again asked if I had done anything and she said, with a smile, "Of course not," and in I walked.

However, the other AP was sitting at the conference table. Hmmm, what is going on I thought to myself. Something must.

I scoured the conference table for anything with my name on it. Looking for an A-420 form. An anecdotal. Something. In my mind I am thisclose to asking if I need the CL here with me. My heart is racing. I am conjuring all these scenarios in my mind. What is making this worse is they are taking THEIR TIME TO TELL ME WHY I WAS THERE!!!

Finally (WHEW!), the new AP sits down as well as the principal and they tell me what they needed me for.

The new 7th grade ELA teacher is having license issues and will be unable to start tomorrow. Until he gets things rectified I will cover his schedule.

That's it? Guess what I unclenched when I was told?

I am cool with that. The new AP took some time and shared with me what to do for the first two days and when I told her that I want to reach out to her again tomorrow for more assistance she was quite welcoming and nice about it.

Having never taught 7th grade ELA in the past I took time this evening to watch Dead Poet's Society which was coincidentally on tonight for some inspiration. Perhaps I will fair better than Mr Keating.

I know I was being irrational even at the time I was being irrational I rationalized that I was being irrational. But this is how it is for me now and will be for...I have no idea.

This is a classic case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And I consider this mild. I know of a very dear teacher friend of mine that vomits and can't get out of bed. But we all deal with PTSD in our own ways.

I hate this feeling. I hate when someone, or rather and administrator, just wants to say hi to me, all my bodily functions feel as if they will go awry. Gratefully, I have yet to lose control of said functions.

I am sure there are many more NYC teachers other than myself and my friend who have been through the ringer in the same situation and just as many who have PTSD worse much much worse.

What makes all those NYC teachers who are suffering with PTSD dven a sadder story is that for most, the actions, or inactions, of the NYCDOE are the cause of their suffering. But as usual, there is no accountability.

This is unacceptable. Teachers should not have to go through their careers with the burden of PTSD. Don't teachers have to deal with enough?

But people on high look down at those with PTSD. It can't be seen, it can't be touched. So you mustn't then have it. That is unless you are a veteran or a cop or a first responder.

But if you're a teacher there are no resources offered to you and you are told you need to get over it and put on that brave face at 8:15 AM every day.


Yeah, it is tough. But NYC teachers are tough. We can and will survive this.

2 comments:

Rita Cat said...

I remember that feeling well although I was never in serious trouble. The school system does a number on our mental health.

Anonymous said...

You are getting a check...there are people on this planet way worse off than you....you could be living in Syria...suck that shit up and keep it moving!!!!!