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. : )