Day one, term three – that heavy feeling is back

Last week, I took a bit of time out and laid off the social networking. In fact, I don’t think it’s social networking at all, I think it’s professional networking. Let’s face it, would I be doing this if I worked as a landscape gardener? Maybe I would, but I’m not entirely sure about that.

I felt good about things while I was having the downtime; I was on school holidays and enjoying time spent with my kids. That heavy feeling left me for awhile, and I was a better person for it.You know, someone who was relaxed and smiled and read a paper book.

Today, the heavy feeling is back. First day of term three, and I feel a tad overwhelmed already. Not for any particular reason, just because I know what lies ahead. All of the expectations and stresses associated with the teaching profession. When you’re a teacher, I think there’s always that feeling that there’s something more that needs to be done. You don’t leave your job at the door; it’s with you, niggling away, telling you that you should be looking for better resources, or updating that wiki, or re-reading that text, or forward planning to ensure the service you deliver is top notch. It sits on your shoulders and doesn’t allow for full freedom of movement.

Pretty grim, huh. Makes you wonder why we do it.

I’ll tell you why. It’s because, despite the weight, there are some pretty wonderful things that can happen when you have the privilege of working with young people. They can make your day with a smile, a kind word, an expression of appreciation, and especially when they share a moment from their lives with you. That’s why we do what we do, and when the kids from my school return to classes on Wednesday, it’ll all come flooding back to me why I choose to work at a job that doesn’t end when I walk out the door at the end of a day.

The rewards are there, but it’s not easy. I kid you not, I think I’m working harder now than I ever did, and I hear the same story from plenty of other teachers out there. I don’t quite know how our profession is going to address this. We need good teachers, really good teachers, who can inspire and motivate the next generation. We don’t need burnt out teachers who leave the profession, because that job that leaves itself at the door is a far greater temptation than the one that’s sitting on your shoulders and weighing you down.

OK – day one rant is over. Sorry for laying that one on you. Just needed to get it off my chest.

Thanks for listening. I feel better. : )

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Day one, term three – that heavy feeling is back

  1. The switch is always hard and coming back is bitter-sweet. After a week it’s just rolling on with no time to think. Glad you took time out from online activity – always refreshing. Me too.

  2. My spouse, the counselor, would say your post today is good for your mental health. I would say it it good for all of us in education today. Yes, there are heavy issues for everyone serving students on this planet. We are helping write the furture for all of man kind. I see hope for the world because of passionate, dedicated teachers like you! My hat is off to you for serving in this very challenging but rewarding profession. Wishing you and your students a fabulous term three.

  3. Lynn Swannell

    I hear you Jenny – it’s taken me until 7.30pm tonight (Day 2) to catch up and I still feel that I’ve missed something! I’m writing lists (yes resorted to pen and paper for this) so I can cross things off as I do them and that feels good. The main thing is you recognised how you were feeling and did take the time out for yourself to spend with family. Have a great Term 3, enjoy getting reacquainted with your students and whatever other goals you set for yourself.

  4. I am so with you on this Jenny. I am still on holidays, one more week but I went into school today and immediately felt overwhelmed at what I need to do before next week. Teaching is so much more than a job. When I feel like this, I always try to remind myself, that I get out of bed each day, happy to go to work and looking forward to the day and its challenges. I am sure there are many people who would rather stay in bed and not go to their jobs.
    I hope you enjoy a great term three.

  5. Heath

    Thanks for your post, Jenny. I especially relate to your comments about that feeling there is always something to improve on. Using technology sometimes ‘enhances’ this feeling of being pressed to do things better; easy access to a world of resources and brilliant teaching and learning examples – inspiring and overwhelming! Your site helps to counter this because I feel as though you are doing so much of the trawling and sifting for us! Sorry to burden you, but there is always something interesting to read and/or take back to the classroom. My class is loving glogster.

    • jennylu

      Thanks for letting me know this Heath. It’s very reassuring to know that there are people out there who find the things I write about useful. I’m so glad your kids are finding Glogster a great tool to use. I’ll get to it and try to source more for you!! : )

  6. Judith

    Glad I am not the only one who feels this way. You are so right, it must be addressed and soon.

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