Depression on the Weekends: Hi All, I... - Mental Health Sup...

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Depression on the Weekends

Catharsis profile image

Hi All,

I found a new job here in Spain, teaching English to young children. I have been in the job for three months.

The job is difficult and I get stressed at work because the children don't listen to me. They are supposed to learn through playing games, but they just do whatever they feel like.

The teacher who trained me keeps saying that I'm not getting their attention.

I have been applying for other jobs, but haven't heard back yet... I'm hoping to get an editorial job in a different company (remotely).

On the weekends, I feel very depressed because I just think about work all the time. I don't know what I can do to improve, as we have tried many different things, but the children still don't listen.

I know I'm in the wrong job, but I want to keep going until I get another job...

I have schizophrenia and my psychiatrist is reducing my medication slowly, so I have some withdrawal symptoms too.

I just thought I should post on here to get some opinions on my situation.



10 Replies

I learned Spanish in the 1980s, the trouble we both had was how quickly we forgot it.

We had having instruction for about two years and then I found the written word was easier than the spoken word. After the course we did not return to Spain for several years, we were shocked.

Also I was trained as an Instructor in Youth Clubs, and Community Work, looking and getting them to listen was in many instances was very hard as I was about twenty two when I qualified, By my 26th Birthday I was involved in a severe accident and that was the end of that occupation. I also had been doing Road Safety with 12 to 14 year olds and that ended as well

What I am trying to say both Spanish and being an Instructor must have been a very hard occupation especially if Spanish was your second Language and you were trying to instruct children of a different nationality.

In the first years of my training being young made instruction very hard especially when I was only a few years older than some of those who I instructed.

So in a way you are working in one difficult area of education. However with your training you may find working in the UK or in Spain commercially may be easier as adults can be a little bit more understanding

You need to discuss your mental health with your GP and i possible He will give medication to make you more stable in your outlook. After Christmas have further discussions with your GP, Hopefully medications will help and ou become more settled in your outlook


Thanks for your reply.

I will try to book am appointment with my GP after Christmas. That may be helpful.

Thanks again,


There are so many variables that can make teaching a success or a failure. The precise grade , number of students , etc. I would think that teaching by playing games would add to the confusion in your class room as the students would be focused on the game and excited to win . The more control you have the easier your job will be and the more your students will learn. If you play a game like guessing an object in the room by color, the students should raise their hand and wait to be called upon. If they speak out of turn they sit out the next round. Once you establish order later you can loosen up a bit. Keep score of their successes it will make them take it seriously. You haven't been doing this very long. Once you achieve some success you may find you like it. It is harder than people realize, but can be so rewarding. Pam

Catharsis profile image
Catharsis in reply to sweetiepye

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I have tried to be more strict sometimes to establish order, and it works a little bit. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed as there are 15 children, aged 2 - 3. When one of them plays with a toy, all of them want to play with toys. But I will keep trying to maintain order.



Hi Catharsis, I have just read your post and my heart goes out to you. These are very young children you are dealing with and being honest never having had children myself I would not have a clue what to do in your position and I think you are brave and courageous for the work you are doing.

I would not say to yourself that you are not suitable for the job until you give yourself a bit more time as maybe all you need is a few tips.

I had a quick glance on a google search and there are loads of articles and advise over how to deal with 2 and 3 year olds and make them listen. The gist of it is I think to keep it simple and repetitive and to understand their brains are not developed like ours and so they go from one impulse to another. There's many articles. I'm putting a link here to one but really there's loads. I feel with the right information available to you it will make your job more manageable and you will be more confident in yourself. WIshing you all the best of luck.

Gemmalouise xxxxx

Hi Gemmalouise,

Thank you for your reply.

It is overwhelming, but I will try not to give up yet.

I really appreciate the link to the article, it has good advice and I will try to use commands more. Hopefully they will listen to me...

Thanks again,


Oh my goodness - it sounds hard work teaching another language to pre school children when they are very often still learning to master their first language. I spent many years working as a playgroup supervisor with children aged 2 - 4. To my mind children learn through play and it's not really a case of formal teaching at that age.

A ratio of 15 children to 1 staff isn't ideal either as they are so young. I would hope you have some help in the classroom if not I would find that situation overwhelming as well. The ratio used to be 8:1 for that age range in UK but may have changed now.

Have you asked your colleague how she gets the children's attention - perhaps she can advise you. How does she do it? Perhaps there are cultural or the obvious language difficulties.

Let me know if I can help in any way. Try not to blame yourself, I would find that situation extremely difficult.

Catharsis profile image
Catharsis in reply to

Thanks Willow61,

Yes, they do learn through play. The teacher who trained me created the games for the children.

I don't have help in the classroom, it is just me... And it is difficult.

The teacher mentioned that I need to "act" more and be more expressive with my face. That is difficult to do when I have schizophrenia and I feel depressed, but I do try every day.

It's possible that the other teachers know that I have schizophrenia or depression, even though I haven't told them. They keep saying that I am too quiet and don't speak very much. I have tried to speak more and communicate.

I will keep trying.



Try not to think that they know you have schizophrenia or depression as it's not very likely that they know .

I'm really glad you will keep trying as I think it will get easier in time and with practice.

It would be lovely to hear in a few months time that you are flourishing at your job and happy :) x

Hi All, I hope you're all doing okay,

I just wanted to update you on how I am progressing in my job.

I have two contracts in the position: one is for the 2 - 3 year-olds, and the other is for children between 8 and 9 years old.

I sent an email to my boss in February explaining how I feel about teaching the 2 - 3 year-olds. I said that I was feeling very stressed and that I want the children to feel positive when they come to the academy. I explained that I had tried quite a few different strategies to make the children feel calm and, at the same time, engage with the lesson plans. And in the email, I also said that I wanted to try for one week more and see if things improve. If they didn't I would have handed in my notice.

My boss said that she and the receptionist noticed that I was feeling stressed. We had a 15 minute chat and agreed that I shouldn't continue teaching the 2 - 3 year-olds anymore. I was very happy with that decision!

So now I teach the 8 - 9 year-olds. This group presents a few more challenges, but they are manageable and they engage with the lesson plans a lot more.

And then, in March, one of the other teachers decided to leave. This meant that I was given the opportunity to increase my hours, which I accepted.

I feel so much better than before! Next academic year they want to give me more hours with the older students, and I think I will give it a go.

Thank you all so much for your responses. It means a lot to have the support of this forum.

Catharsis x

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