Balancing School, home life, stress management

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by woobie5, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. woobie5

    woobie5 Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Wow! Is teaching the most stressful job or do I just suck at managing it? I'm only in my 4th year of teaching and am teaching a new grade level this year. I took a break from teaching after only my first year of teaching and worked in the corporate world for 6 years. I remember hating teaching after my 1st year so that's why I left. I attributed it to the fact that I didn't like my position, I had a 30 minute commute every day and I shared a classroom with another teacher. I eventually missed teaching and got back in 3 years ago, but am feeling that yucky stress again. The kind where I don't even like myself. I come home from work and I'm a grouchy old hag. Tired from dealing with management all day, not having enough time to plan etc, etc. Literally shot and still having to do lesson plans or run into my classroom to get something prepped.

    I would love to find a way to "make it work" b/c deep down I love my job. I love working with kids, I love planning and teaching lessons etc. AND I OF COURSE LOVE MY SUMMERS! But the rate I"m going now I can't keep up. I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful son who need me more!

    ANy tips? HELP!
     
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  3. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Sorry, no tips, but I can listen and vent right along with you. I, too, am in my 4th year and I just switched grade levels. Between my 2 jobs, all I do is work. I was at school for 11 hours today (on a Sunday!), and I didn't even get a chance to start report cards, which are due this week.

    I was so excited this morning, because I was able to shave, pluck my eyebrows, and cut my nails-all luxuries during the school year (probably TMI! :lol: ) I never have any time for myself. People tell me I need to find a balance and make time, but I don't know how I would even begin! It's almost 11:00, I worked 11 hours today, and I still have to do my classroom newsletter, a ton of correcting that has been sitting in my bag for over a week, and plan my formal observation lesson, which is this week.

    I cannot see myself teaching forever-this job is just CRAZY, and I need to have time for myself.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 7, 2011

    It gets so much easier!!!!

    Once you have the material down, you have the classroom management skills, and you're comfortable with your "teacher persona" it's reallly a lot of fun!

    Managing the work/home thing is hard, of course, but that's true with any job. That 15 minute commute gives me the chance to morph back into mom, figure out what's for dinner, who is likely to be where, remember who has a test to study for, and all the rest.
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2011

    Yes, teaching is stressful, there's no denying it, but so are other jobs.

    You have to find a routine that works for you. What can slide or be done later? Is it a need to do or a nice to do? My nice to do's never seem to get done.

    I work my tail off when I'm at school. I take home very little work, except on weekends. Thursday nights I take my reading manual & math stuff home to plan for the next week. Most Thursdays it doesn't even come out of my bag. Friday lunch/nap is plan time, and I copy during my prep Friday afternoon or finish planning & copy after school. I usually stay late on Fridays just to organize everything that I copied.

    Friday nights are my nights to catch up on grading. Sunday nights I email my lesson plans to my P & update my website.

    It's been extra hard this fall. I think it's because I'm doing an on the job practicum for my Master's degree plus taking a class. it's been a double workload, but I'll be done soon.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2011

    Yes, it is a very stressful and demanding job. No one seems to understand this except other teachers. There are some things you can do to improve this situation. Even then, it most likely will still be demanding and stressful--alhtough possibly easier to manage.

    It sounds like it is effecting you in a large way. I think asking questions on this site is a good idea. I'd also find teachers who are effective who you might be able to observe and talk to in how they are able to manage the heavy load. If what you look forward to the most is summer vacation that is not a good sign. I think if you are going to stay in teaching, I think it is vital that you find a way to manage the heavy load that goes with the job. Possibly swtiching to a grade where they work more independently like 2nd, 3rd, or 4th might help. Kindergarten can really wear many of us out, although some manage it well.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 12, 2011

    Why are you having to plan nightly? Try doing a week or more in advance. It will free up your evenings. I come home and sleep for two hours. I know, it sounds like a lot, but I am really only getting 6 hours of sleep every night, so this makes up for my missed sleep time. I suggest you get what you can done while at school, and then when you leave you stop working. You will never get through it all, but you need to have an end time or you will burn out, and quick. I don't really know what else to say. This certainly is a very tough job and there is a lot of stress, but you do need to find time for you and your family.
     
  8. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2011


    This has helped my 1st year stress levels out so much TamiJ. Up until now I have been working every single weekend, both days, for up to 6 hours each day to get my planning and copies ran.

    Last week I decided enough was enough. I needed my rest because I was only getting 6 hours of sleep as you were. I plan during PE, I plan during Art/Music/Library time, and I plan/copy after school for our mandatory 30 minutes that we have to be there anyway. I don't know why I never thought of it before. Does it help my stress completely? Nope, but it does help immensely. I'm not spending every Saturday and Sunday up there working. Now I only do that if I want to move furniture again LOL
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 13, 2011

    What were you doing during your prep time? I hope they are not making you go to meetings during every prep. I've had that happen to me a couple of days in a row & it throws everything off. One time it happened & I even had a lunch meeting! I had NO break that day, plus my professor came in to observe me.

    I even work during my lunch hour, make the odd copy that I forget or for something that popped up. Grading/filing papers. Filling out paperwork. I'm constanly working.
     
  10. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2011

    For me kpa1b2, I don't have a "prep time". I have before school, PE - 45 min, 30 min Art/Music/Library, and after school. We have a 25 minute lunch so I don't have time to do anything there. I have meetings 2 days a week during my PE time.

    We also have after-school grade level meetings for an hour every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. So that leaves me Wednesdays and Fridays after school unless I stay late.
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 13, 2011

    Sole, when do they let you go to the bathroom? When do they expect your to plan/check papers etc. if you are having meetings all the time?

    That would drive me nuts!
     
  12. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Nov 13, 2011

    I'm sorry I don't have any tips. I just wanted to let you know you are definately not alone! I could have written your post, word for word. I feel the same way. I go back and forth between quitting and staying. I'm afraid if I quit and do something else, I'll miss teaching. And, like you, if I decide to give it another go only to feel that I'm in the same boat as before. It feels like I work all the time and still behind. :(

    Anyway, good luck. I hope things get better for you. :)

    Beth
     
  13. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2011

    I plan and grade papers after school most of the time until we can leave. We dismiss at 3:35 and our contract requires us to be there until 4:15 every day except Fridays, so I make the most of that 40 minutes or so as long as I am not in a meeting.

    As for bathroom breaks? That's what those breaks are for (art/pe/lunch) and our P isn't too worried about us leaving a meeting early to go to the bathroom so that's not an issue.

    Heck I didn't know it was bad until I started reading on here LOL I thought this was normal!
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 13, 2011

    I don't reinvent the wheel...I use a computer format for lesson plans. I basically do the same format each week in handwriting, so I just cut and paste on the concept. I found a teacher that has put my reading series online with lesson plans. I cut and paste hers. Then I add the extras. I never change my planning, recess, or lunch time on my lesson plans. I copy everything I need and have it ready on Thursday. Then on Thursday I spend planning typing my lesson plans. That way I can copy any last minute things on Friday. Then I have folders with each day of the week. I fix them the week before. That way I can start the weekend ready for Monday. No working on Monday.
     
  15. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2011

    I think my life would be much easier if I could do computer format for my lesson plans. We are required by the district to have them in written format in a lesson plan book. I'm not the type to do things twice so I just stick with written...
     
  16. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 13, 2011

    I print them out...one copy for my principal and one for me. Then I place them in a three ring binder....before I had stamps that had pe, music, library, recess, duty, and lunch on them made. I pre-stamped everything I could. Ask your principal about the lesson plans that are in binder...you might be surprised. Mine never thought of it until I asked. And for a time, I emailed them to her each week.


    http://www.fearlessdesign.com/stores/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=PB
     
  17. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2011

    I'm in my fourth year and finally feel like things are clicking...However, I have been teaching the same grade. This year I have made an effort to not grade as much and it has helped considerably.

    I was miserable for my first three years and really struggled with organization, planning and grading. I would go home a zombie and I hated how I felt. I was also considering leaving the profession because I couldn't imagine feeling like this all the time..I didn't want to do that to myself or my family. Last year I kind of had a little breakdown toward the end of the year and learned some things about myself...I'm doing much better and I'm much happier this year. I'm glad, because I love my job!! :)
     
  18. Gareth

    Gareth Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2011

    I think a lot of it comes down to routine and deciding what's necessary and what's not. The thing with teaching is that there is always something else you could be doing and something you could be putting more time into to make it better. If your swamped with meetings like that all the time then have a look at your union agreement, there might be something that says you have a right to time for prep (and not meetings).
     

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