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Leaving the Classroom Episode 9: Toxic Positivity | The Narcissist in Education Part 5

#becomeaninstructionaldesigner #leaving the classroom podcast #leavingtheclassroom #teacherburnout #teachercareertransitions #toxicpositivityineducation May 02, 2023

Leaving the Classroom: A Transitioning Teacher Podcast

Toxic Positivity: The Narcissist Tendencies in Education Part 5

I don't know why you're making such a huge deal of this. You're being overly sensitive. You are being so dramatic. This is gaslighting; and teachers hear it all the time. Today, I share examples of gaslighting that were sent to me by teachers in my mentor group at IDOL courses Academy.

Listen to the episode here:

Connect with Kristi on LinkedIn 

Enjoy the podcast transcription:

The opinions expressed within this podcast are solely mine, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of IDOL courses, or its affiliates. This episode contains content that may be alarming to some listeners. Please check the show notes for more detailed descriptions and take care of yourself.

Welcome to leaving the classroom. This is a podcast for teachers who are ready to transition out of the classroom and into a new career. Each week, I'll share stories about what I've learned moving from education to the corporate world. I'll answer the most common questions and share my best tips to help you get started. If you are considering leaving the classroom, this show is for you. Hello, everyone. Welcome to leaving the classroom. I'm Kristi Oliva. Thank you for listening.

This is the last episode in a series called the narcissistic traits of education. I shared before that I was in a relationship with a narcissist. And one of the super crafty things he would do was to constantly talk about all the things he did for me, the value he provided in my life. And to be honest, he wasn't wrong, he helped me with my kids, he helped me around the house, etc, etc. The difference here though, is that just because he was doing these things, didn't mean that I couldn't live without him the way he wanted me to think. Yet that's the seed he planted in my head. What would I ever do without him? Who would fix the washer that was giving me problems? Who would hang the door? And from the outside, that seems ridiculous. There are other people who can fix the things around my house, there's someone else to hang the door. But part of the narcissist abuse cycle is to repeat these things over and over and make you believe them. And guess what I truly started to believe that my life would be drastically different. Terrible. If he was not in my life.

Now let's talk about how this manifests in the education system. This shows up in an incredibly real way that makes teachers believe they will never be able to do anything else other than teach. One of the main ways I saw this as a teacher was the ever present threat to my livelihood by telling me, my teaching certificate would be taken away if I didn't stay the entire school year, my contract year. Take away my teaching certificate. So that means that if I hate my job, if I am not happy with the administration at my school or the district, if there are parents that I do not want to deal with that year, I will have my certificate taken away. The certificate I went to school for, worked hard for, paid a lot of money for, would be taken away simply because I decide that school, at that time, was not right for me. And I want to look for other options. Now, I'm maybe being a little naive right now but I'm not aware of any other profession where they can take away the certification you earned simply because you didn't want to finish out the year at a specific location. I'm not talking about walking out in the middle of the day. I'm not talking about leaving without notice. I'm just talking about teachers who want to leave that district, or that school before the academic year is over, because they are miserable. And they are threatened with the fact that their certification is up for grabs. This is not normal in the greater workforce, nor is it okay.

All right, so let's compare that to the corporate workforce where I am now. A while ago, I held a one year contract similar to a teacher. I just signed the contract, it was for one year. But right around the 10 or 11 month mark, I got an offer at my dream job. Then I turned in my notice for the contract early. I wasn't finishing my contract. And guess what? They said they were sorry I was leaving, and that they wished me well. What? That's it? They didn't threaten to take away my instructional design and online learning credential. They didn't guilt trip me about the effect this would have on the business, of the learners that would be affected when I left. Listen, teachers, you can do other things.

 When I left my emotionally abusive relationship, I had to face the fear of the unknown. He had repeated the same things to me so many times that I began to believe them. Who's going to help with the kids? Who's going to fix the washer? I seriously was worried about these things when I broke up with him. So before I broke up with him, he did fix my washer. That's why I bring this up. But guess what? He didn't even fix it correctly. It broke two weeks after we broke up. I called a handyman to fix it, and he laughed when he saw the job of my licensed contractor ex boyfriend. He said the new piece was installed incorrectly, and could have damaged the whole washer if I hadn't gotten it fixed. What a metaphor. Everything he had been saying to me for months was such a farce, such a crock of BS.

Teachers, the education system may try to make you feel like you can't do anything else. That the kids need you, and will suffer without you. Guilt trips and lies. This has been repeated to you so often that you probably believe it. You question your skills. Are you qualified for anything else? Should you just become a principal or make a side gig on Teachers Pay Teachers that could hopefully turn into something more. I am here to tell you that you are qualified, you are talented, and you are needed in other roles besides teaching. Let me be real with you. Even though I transitioned from teaching to instructional design in less than a year, doesn't mean that it was seamless or easy. It actually was not, it was really hard. I had to learn new technology that I had never seen or used before. I had to learn a new terminology that I wasn't used to, and that was uncomfortable for me to use. But most of all, I had to get over the fear that had been ingrained in me after 15 years working in the public school system. The fear of losing my credential, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of never being able to do any thing else. Let me help you. Let me help you through this journey out of the classroom and into a new career that is fulfilling, and exciting, and fun. And listen, it's also something that I can leave at work and then enjoy my family without feeling guilty. That's huge. Let me help you do something you are already qualified for. When you join IDOL courses Academy, you enter an eight week cohort where you have access to the resources you need to transition to a career in instructional design and online learning. You will have access to mentor sessions like mine, led by current instructional designers who have transitioned from other careers as well. Many of the mentors are former teachers, like me, so we know exactly how to help you. Sign up for IDOL courses Academy and when you join, use my code CLASSROOM100. You're gonna get $100 off enrollment, and you can join my mentor sessions, where I know where you're coming from. I see you, I was you. And I've come out on the other side. It's time for you to take control and make the career change that will change your life. It sure changed mine. I'll see you next time.

Send your stories or your questions to [email protected] or share them with me on Instagram  @leavingtheclassroom.