Do you ever take it all too seriously?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by SpecialEdTeache, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. SpecialEdTeache

    SpecialEdTeache Companion

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    Mar 13, 2011

    What with all of the demands placed upon us as teachers, does anyone ever think you may be taking it all too seriously to the extent you neglect taking care of yourself? I know this happens to me quite frequently.

    Sometimes I have to draw back and actually take a day or a weekend (rarely) off and regroup to make myself think about something else. I find when I do this, I'm not only more energized, but am saner when I get back to it. Just one day in a different environment besides home or school helps tremendously. If I can't travel, sometimes I just do a Saturday movie marathon and escape that way.

    What do you do to regroup and take care of yourself?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I'm in a different position than many here.

    My job is secure. There are no standardized tests. My administration, parents and kids are all easy to work with.


    We've been under a HUGE amount of stress this year, but it's because of all the coworkers whose funerals we've attended: the current count is 5.

    But actual schoolwork hasn't added to the stress in my life.

    That said, when I was in my black cloud period 2 years ago, I found that I NEEDED to get away from it, both literally and figuratively. So I escaped to the internet and planned a trip to Disney World. IT was a whole lot cheaper than therapy.
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I always make time for myself. I go to the gym almost every day after work to relieve stress (and to stay in shape).

    Most weekends, my OH and I try to get out of town (either for a day trip or weekend trip).

    I rarely stay late at work and don't bring home a ton of work (don't get me wrong, though--there are times when I can't escape bringing home work because I can't get everything done during recess and lunch).

    Also, I spoil myself every now and then, either by getting a massage or pedicure (or anything else that makes me feel good)! :thumb:
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 13, 2011

    School brings significant stress to my life and I do sometimes have to put myself in time-out to relax, prioritize, and develop a plan to accomplish my work goals without overextending myself.
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I have actually just taken two weekends off in a row! Last weekend I was on the overnight weekend retreat with the high schoolers (I volunteer to teach CCD)- so I was a leader on the retreat. An amazing break from school, but whew- exhausting! This weekend- I am just now considering thinking about school, but I just might not! It sure is energizing when I go back on Monday though- I will be ready to go full steam ahead and just be pumped to be back- so two weekends on in a row- it took an amazing amount of prep and planning to get these two weekends off, but so worth it! No burnout here! I pretty much had a girls out weekend- so it is great!
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I take my profession seriously. But it's not all there is to my life...and it's never impeded on my ability to enjoy my life...I have fun, enjoy my friends and love my family...I'm passionate about my job, but it doesn't consume me. It's about finding balance.;)
     
  8. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Mar 16, 2011

    Sometimes I think I take it too seriously and neglect my health. I try not to call out because our P said we have NO money in the budget for substitutes and since they're talking about lay offs for next school year, I don't want my file to show a bunch of days off.

    Right now, I have had a cold/sinus infection for two weeks, yet I've come to school everyday. I know I'm neglecting my health, but in addition to not wanting to take off, I am a co-chair of two commitees that have activities going on this week, plus I work after school with the tutoring program, so a lot of people are counting on me and if I'm out...

    I find that if I do EVERYTHING the way my P expects (ie: don't grade papers during instructional time, don't give out worksheets, don't let them color, do math centers, etc) I end up stressed out and not enjoying my life.

    So...I do the things I HAVE to and try to give my kids the best I can, but most evenings I try not to take work home and on weekends, I do my best to make time for myself.

    This week has been a little rough tough because I've been sick since last Monday and I haven't taken off because I'm the chair of two committees as well as a tutoring program,
     
  9. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    Mar 16, 2011

    I wish I took care of myself more actually. I am at work all the time I feel. In the beginning of the year I brought papers to grade home all the time. Now, I've decided against doing that. I am trying to leave work at work and let me enjoy my time at home with my husband. (When he's off and we actually see each other...he works nights.) It causes me to fall a bit behind in grades once in a while but it's a sacrifice that I've chosen to make.

    I don't treat myself nearly enough. When I do, I like to completely lose myself in television. Also running helps to relieve a lot of stress and tension for me. On my Saturday's I catch up on some much needed sleep because I feel EXHAUSTED during the week. Church is a nice way to begin my week too. And, every once in a while, I find that a good cry helps too. :)
     
  10. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Mar 16, 2011

    :yeahthat: I'm not married, but my boyfriend, who is the absolute bee's knees, works most nights too, so when we're able to coordinate to see each other in the evening, I sacrifice a bit too. Sometimes, i think i'd be a little lonely if we lived together because of his parttime evening work.

    One thing that we do do is that I grade papers while he does his work sometimes, so we're still spending time together but getting things done between chatting and goofing around. Also, when he watches his football games, I grade, then we talk during the breaks.
     
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Mar 16, 2011

    I have taken things a little too seriously, but that's because as a new teacher I feel the pressure to prove myself. I have relaxed more since coming back from Christmas. I am finding my groove and I have stopped trying to be someone I am not. I have my own teaching style and ideas, and I'm embracing that and running with it. The students are much less stressed, too, as a result and my classroom is a happier, more productive place to be.
     
  12. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Mar 16, 2011

    All the time! I'm a first year teacher too, so I'm still struggling to find that balance between work and pleasure. I've scaled back a lot on the planning because there is so many distractions in my room nowadays that we move at a snails pace. (Luckily that is the advantage of teaching Special Ed. No pacing guide to follow!) Sometimes what I planned for one day stretches into two or three days. Paperwork and meetings are very stressful, but I try to bring that home and do a little each night. I've lately made myself a deal that outside of the occasional piece of paperwork I do not do any planning over the weekend. I'd rather work all day and bring stuff home and work up until bed time, than do school stuff on the weekend. I try to not even think about school once 2:30 Friday afternoon hits. It's almost like living two separate lives.

    This works for me right now because I live by myself, am single, and only really see my friends on the weekends. Now if I had a family or a boyfriend I guess I'd make it work somehow, but I couldn't imagine having that on my plate right now. I wish I did have a little more free time to explore the new area I'm living in and try to meet some new people.

    I think the secret is sometimes you need to just walk away. For your own sanity you sometimes just need to do the bare minimum and take a break. That's hard for overachievers like most of us, but if you don't you'll burn out pretty quickly. I'm always my own worst critic, so I get down on myself if not prepared, but you just have to do the best you can with what you have to work with. If I was as organized and prepared every day as I wanted, I'd probably spend about 20+ hours a day devoted just to school.
     
  13. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Mar 17, 2011

    It is all about letting go. Once you leave the building (which should be when there is still light out) everything from the job should be out of sight, out of mind.
    Which reminds me, it is spring break, I should get off this sight and just enjoy being home watching some basketball (school does not exist right now).
     
  14. miss_ali1984

    miss_ali1984 Companion

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    Mar 17, 2011

    Personally I feel that if you can work fairly quickly, focus on the important things, come in a bit early, skip lunches, and leave fairly late...You should be able to have weekends.
    This first year I've learned that you'll never be able to do everything, no matter how late you stay. It's important to me to have a LIFE! I definitely put in a couple less hours a week now than I did at the beginning of the year.
    I did spend a little time this week (Spring Break) working to make books for guided reading and grade a few papers, but that was just to get ahead.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Mar 18, 2011

    I don't see skipping lunches as a good thing. Any day where I have to work through my lunch, I am just more stressed during the afternoon and more mentally drained at the end of the day. I try and take lunch to focus on anything other than teaching to refresh the mind. Then at the end of the day, once again take time to let the mind rest from everything that happened all day. If work gets done after that, then great, if not, just go home. The constant go go go for 8 or 9 hours straight, not my thing.
     
  16. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Mar 18, 2011

    I do come in on the weekends..where I'm the only one at school..I'm a first year K teacher, so I've had to start from scratch..moving to 2nd next year, so will be starting from scratch yet again...and I have to feel out how my new principal is...Everyone has their own style and preferences..I would rather spend a couple of hours in there on the weekend rather than staying until 5 or 6 every night(I live half an hour away from school)...
     
  17. SpecialEdTeache

    SpecialEdTeache Companion

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    Mar 18, 2011

    I love your attitude, Miss Scrimmage!
     
  18. SpecialEdTeache

    SpecialEdTeache Companion

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    Mar 18, 2011

    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
  19. SpecialEdTeache

    SpecialEdTeache Companion

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    Mar 18, 2011

    Been there, done that soooooo many times. Hope you feel better soon and are able to take some you-time in the near future.
     
  20. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 18, 2011

    I think I do okay with not "overworking" myself to the point where I just can't handle it. I work at the afterschool program too, so I am not done with school until 5 every day except Friday. I don't stay any later than 6 (usually more like 5:30) and I don't come in early (not a morning person!) I go to the gym and then I'm home by 7. At home I generally don't do any work except for check/answer e mails. I usually do have to spend about 4-5 hours at school on a Sunday. Thats the schedule that I prefer. I'd much rather spend a few hours getting things done on Sundays (when I don't have much else to do anyway) than be at school until 8 pm every night and not make it to the gym. I like having a few hours to myself each night to just relax and watch tv or catch up with friends from my hometown. I don't do any work on Fridays once I leave school or Saturdays. Our staff goes to happy hour every Friday and I usually go out with my non-school friends on Saturdays. I'm pretty happy with my schedule. The one thing that stresses me out is sometimes I just can't stop thinking about school! Even if I say "ok, I'm not going to do any more work tonight" I can't stop worrying about different school things or thinking about what I'm going to do. That can be frustrating!
     
  21. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Mar 19, 2011

    I'm kind of a silly person by nature AND I teach kindergarten... with all the glitter, magic, puppets, singing, and dancing, it's hard to take it all TOO seriously. :D
     
  22. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Mar 21, 2011

    I go to the gym every day unless I'm really, really tired. I go right after school because if I go home first chances are I won't make it back out!

    I usually keep Saturday as a day to myself, to have lunch with a friend, go shopping, get a mani/pedi, spend a few hrs at the gym, etc. and leave Sunday afternoon for my planning for the week. Of course this past Sunday I had a big family party and now I'm thrown off for the whole week, but I'll get back to that this weekend. I definitely NEED my saturdays to completely not think about students, grades, tests, lesson plans, etc!
     
  23. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2011

    Yup. I took it too seriously to the point of having panic attacks upon entering the school building, and had to take a health leave mid-year last year. Since then, I have forced myself to make my health/mental health a priority. It does not come naturally to me. I am also a mother of two kids in elementary and my husband is not working. I took my first personal day last week in 10 years of teaching.... that helped.

    I did not eat lunch for the past three years, and that was not good. This year I eat lunch with other people every day, and that has made a world of difference. I also go in on the weekends for a few hours so my work week is not so insane. I go in an hour and a half before school starts, so I am spent by the end of the day, so the few hours while I am fresh and can't be interrupted are among my most productive hours of the week.
     

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