Teachers Have OCD Too
By: Shaina Charles
When we hear the phrase “OCD in the classroom,” the immediate thought is about students with OCD and how it impacts their learning experience. If you do a quick Google search of that phrase (go ahead, we dare you!), you will be met with some fantastic resources exploring what OCD in the classroom may look like, and even tips for parents and teachers alike on how to help kids beat OCD in the classroom. But, it will likely take you a whole lot more creative googling to find resources geared towards teachers who live with the disorder.
Now, don’t get us wrong – talking about how OCD affects kids is super important, and we are so here for all the free information readily available on the topic. We just want to make sure that one thing is abundantly clear: teachers have OCD too.
It is essential to acknowledge this fact because so many teachers feel alone in their OCD experience. Furthermore, many teachers feel shame about how OCD shows up in the classroom. They worry that if they open up about their experience, they may be viewed as a poor teacher or undervalued in the workplace. They may even fear that because of the intrusive thoughts, they are unfit to be a teacher.
If this is your experience, you are certainly not alone. OCD is an experience that many teachers share! Since we’ve begun exploring this topic, we’ve had a wonderful response from the teaches in the OCD North community. Here’s what some of them had to say about their experiences.
“OCD showed up by checking and rechecking paperwork for dates, signatures…”
“OCD looks like having calendars all over the place because I might forget something, writing and rewriting lists, having to have my desk organized a certain way…”
“Obsessively checking that I sent an email to the right parent, obsessively checking that I didn’t accidentally friend a parent on social media, counting kids when we go out of the classroom to be sure I have everyone, hating it when specialists come into my room and use my space because they mess up my systems. I feel very self-conscious that my struggles would be seen as something that makes me unable to work with children.”
If you are a teacher and can relate to any of these experiences, know that you are not alone. There is no shame in your experience, and you are not less of a teacher because of OCD.
Thank you to all of the teachers in the OCD North community who shared their experiences with us through our social media. When you share your experiences, you destigmatize and take power back from OCD!
If you find the experiences of others helpful in your OCD recovery journey, you might be interested in our NEW Peer Mentorship Program – launching soon! This program matches OCD North graduates with individuals beginning or struggling in their journey to OCD recovery. Through the support of someone who really gets it, the goal is to help our community help each other beat OCD! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.