Jasper Roberts - Blog

Burnout....

It's been a crazy past few weeks, and I sincerely apologize for not having my life in order enough to share with you all! I am hoping and praying that I can get things a bit more organized around here in order to manage my time better.

We've been super busy in the classroom, and it's been a whirlwind of midterms and now end of quarter projects and grading, play auditions, parent teacher conferences, and of course, meetings. Oh, meetings...

It used to be that I would bring things home to work on, but if it didn't get finished it wasn't the end of the world. Now, if I bring something home to work on and heaven forbid fall asleep, or go out to dinner with my husband and not get it done, I'm completely unprepared the next day. What is happening?? This seems to be the general consensus not just within my building, but the entire nation of teachers!

Sprinkled in among baby announcements, wedding photos, and pumpkin patch pictures, this is what I saw on FB today:








...along with cries for help about feeling overworked, overstressed, and just plain tired. This has got to STOP! Side note: I also feel this way and do this ALL the time. I'm not calling anyone out, I've just been too tired lately to post it on FB. My fingers are even tired. See, now I'm complaining too, and I do it all the time. :)

Last night, I needed to go grocery shopping for my husband's birthday party today (yes, today. Happy Birthday, hubster!), and I was so tired I was hunched over my shopping cart like I was either deathly ill or intoxicated (neither, to be clear). That's just my life right now. We all need to remember why we go into this profession. No matter what changes may be happening, be it more testing, more responsibilities, or less autonomy.

We either all need to propose a solution, or we all need to move to Finland apparently, where the teachers are treated as demigods, and the students apparently are all high achieving and feed you grapes at lunch and sing to you....I'm being hyperbolic, but seriously. Yes, the grass is always greener, but there has to be something negative about teaching in Finland (mostly because if there is not, we are putting the house on the market tonight).

Oh.....Finland. You magical Oz-like land of teaching. 

Without a doubt, the greatest part of my work day is always in my classroom, teaching. I LOVE my students this year (yeah, I said love), and I LOVE teaching them and seeing them grow academically, emotionally, socially, all of it. We discuss rigorous questioning techniques, they give amazing presentations in their genius hour classrooms, we spend the last two minutes of class talking as a class about them, and their lives outside of the classroom. 

I flat out told my 8th graders I was going to miss them (I feel like I've talked about this before, but I'm too tired to go back and check, lol), and I mean it. I have a passion for teaching that I can only describe as fierce. I am terrified of losing it. 

Some days I feel like I have a storm cloud over my head...
...but as soon as the bell rings and my classroom door closes, it's usually gone. Except for last week, when I suddenly developed a migraine in the middle of class and had to go home early, and there was an actual storm cloud happening over my eyeballs. It was kind of freaky, and I've never actually physically gotten ill in a class. It was definitely a panic moment.

Here's the other thing, I'm not truly unhappy, just overwhelmed. I like being a leader in the building, I like being given the opportunity to be involved with change, and I love directing drama at my school. It's hard for me to say that I would give any of it up, but it is truly difficult to find a balance between everything. This year, we teach seven classes. We have a prep period, and a lunch. My prep period is 1st, which is a blessing and a curse! I think once I get in the swing of things in...I don't know...March, it will feel awesome to not have to jump right into teaching first thing.

But right now I'm literally running around my classroom like a psycho trying to get everything ready, copied, organized, ordered, entered, updated, differentiated, analyzed, and cleaned.

How do I go from this every morning:


To the happy and excited person I know I am inside? To top it off, I'm being evaluated this year, and it's my first time being evaluated by the Danielson model. Anything unknown and new makes me very anxious, and I want to make sure I do the best I can. I am definitely a Hermione.










So what is the solution? Laugh? Leave? Cry? Move to Finland?

Think of the positives in your day. Hold on to those, and seek them out. See the good in a situation. Enjoy the moments in your classroom when kids are happy, safe, and learning. Know that you are making a difference, despite the added pressures that come with being an educator today. 







6 comments:

  1. Thankyou for posting this. I'm not where you are today - probably because in Australia we're ten weeks until summer holidays, but I certainly was earlier in the year. I'd transferred to a new school following my husband's change of job, and while I love living back in the town I grew up in, the school environment was so different from what I had grown used to, I didn't know how I was going to cope. Quit? Request another transfer? (was I even allowed to after being at a school only a few weeks) Face the challenges head on and confront the things that were making life difficult by the school leadership? Bide my time and learn to live with the situation? I did the last, feeling like I was copping out and compromising the learning of the kids, but six months later it's worked out and I'm happy in my job again. For now. Anyway, a very long way of saying I hear you, I feel for you, and I hope you're feeling more positive again soon. Thankyou for your update, I was wondering where you were!

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  2. I totally get where you're coming from... but please don't apologize for not posting stuff on your blog. We miss you, but we know you're super busy. Obviously your 'real' job/life has to come first!

    And I know you will have more insightful and helpful posts soon - maybe in the holiday ;)

    What I'm saying is it sounds like you're doing a great job all round, so give yourself a break :)

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  3. Thanks for your post. I sometimes feel like this though I try to do a lot of self-talk because I know that if I get overwhelmed (I did have a panic attack at the 3:00 am one morning last week), I will be useless to everyone including myself. I have yet to figure out what is the correct home-school balance and I've been teaching for close to 30 years. I still bring work home as if I have another 8-hour day waiting for me. And, I make resolves to finish this or that piece of work before going to bed. However, a funny thing happens when I get home, I seem to have a memory loss of some kind. It's almost magical. As soon as I step over the threshold of my house, I don't remember why my bag is so heavy with books and papers. I see my son and my husband and I realize, once again, that I'm home. I need that home time. It's not like I get home early in the afternoon. No, I often get home past 5:00. By the time we have dinner, walk the dogs, relax a little bit, it's bedtime. I am going to try to bring next to nothing home, maybe a book to read or an assignment or lesson to think about. That really is all I have time for. My sanity demands it, and yet as I write this comment, I feel guilty. Gotta get rid of that, too!
    Enjoy your Sunday. I hope your husband's birthday celebration went well.

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  4. We've all been there. I was at this point at the end of the last school year. Before school started this year the word "intentional" came to the forefront of my mind and has stayed there. I'm trying to be intentional in all areas - school - being present, prepared but also LEAVING things at school that I do not need to take home or could do just by getting there 30 min before the first bell. Being intentional with my mornings - getting up with the intent to exercise, have time to enjoy my coffee, peruse some websites and blogs and THEN get ready. Being intentional with my friends, family and free time - writing thank you notes, sending little messages here and there, scheduling time for them. Being more intentional than I've ever been has made the start of this year one of the most exciting, fun, enjoyable and balanced I feel I've had in several years.

    One encouraging suggestion - check out Rachael's blog 180 Days to Happy. I absolutely LOVE it. A great heart, great teacher and wonderful purpose. http://www.180daystohappy.com

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  5. Just found your blog this morning. I'm feeling exactly how you are. I am a 2nd year teacher teaching at a Middle School who has me looping with my students. I hope to give them the best middle level experience possible, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed! Every year a new curriculum to figure out. AHHHH!!! My head sometimes feels like its going to explode.

    Hope to follow your blog religiously to gain some advice :)

    -Kristine Norat

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Thanks for stopping by! JW