Sunday, November 25, 2007

The only day of this "holiday" I did not spend the majority of my day working on things for school was Thanksgiving. I cooked, ate, watched a movie, and remembered what it was like to be a person who sat on the couch without a computer on her lap typing out some kind of lesson plan or tracking sheet.

I made it through last year by telling myself that this year would be easier - that experience would allow me to work less - spend more time with friends and relax more. Instead, experience earns me the students no one else can handle, the rotating paras (the newest arrangement is a different para each period, which drives my kiddos absolutely crazy), and the chance to see what it's like to teach all 3 elementary testing grades in one room.

It is the 3rd month of school and I am burnt out.
My efforts to make instruction more purposeful (because I feel like now I actually understand what I should be doing) result in 70 hour work weeks.
There has to be a balance...but teaching 3 grades so far has meant 3 times the amount of work and while my kids are learning, I am exhausted.
There has to be a better way...


Nicole said...

I know it sounds pat, and maybe impossible, but you need to give _yourself_ a break. You have been working so hard. You care so much. Your students are very lucky to have you. You have given them so much, and you will continue to give them so much. But you also need rest, compassion and understanding, don't you? Please treat yourself with the same kindness that you use with your students. You deserve it.

Zuzuzpetals said...

Hey Miss G -

On the bleak side. It takes more than a year for the workweek to get easier, less time consuming. I'm nine years in, and it is just now feeling like I really, really know what I'm doing enough to cut back to 60 hours. But some weeks it's 45 or 50, and I only worked Saturday and Sunday of the five day break.

On the bright side. Last week, I received a post card from a former ELL student (yes, English Language Learner) at Cambridge, thanking me for what I'd done to help her realize her goals. Yes, that Cambridge. And yes, it's worth it.
It sucks sometimes. It gets better. And it is so worth it.