How do you leave school at school?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Lizzie, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Lizzie

    Lizzie New Member

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    Sep 7, 2008

    How do you keep from thinking and worrying about school when you are not at school? I don't mind taking papers home to grade (I teach English, so that's a given), but I dislike that I can't seem to relax and enjoy my time off because I'm always thinking about my next lesson, or what happened at school the day before. I especially have trouble not taking discipline problems with students personally; I will dwell on them all evening and it will make me anxious to start the next day.

    This year I have several high schoolers with emotional disabilities, and I keep blaming myself when interactions with them don't go well. I generally feel very confident about my classroom management (this is my third year, so I'm getting into the swing of it), but this handful of kids have been throwing me for a loop and making it hard for me to leave work at work.

    I should also mention that I switched from 7th grade to 9th grade this year, and that has kind of made me feel like a first year teacher again. How long does it take before you start separating home and work, and how do you do it?
     
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  3. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2008

    i honestly don't think it's possible. i think about it all the time. i talk with friends from school who know my kids and that makes me feel better. they can give great advice and i know i can trust them to say anything about my kids (well, it's a small handful of people, but i do trust them). anyway, it takes my mind off of it for a while or puts me in a better mood so i can focus on home more.

    try talking to someone about things...journal...something...don't hold it in. that's what helps me...letting out my frustrations, successes etc.

    good luck
    LC
     
  4. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    hmmm...I don't but I do carve out time at home to do "school" thinking and work. My first year I had a "difficult" class-I kept a journal (don't take it to school or it becomes school property), it helped to write things down each day...just to get them off my chest and then I could move on and be 'mom'.
     
  5. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    I can not keep mine at school either. I have 8th grade science and all i think about is making sure the behavior logs and tier 1 items are filled out and i am not getting behind on them. I did make sure my powerpoints and tests were done this summer but, still leaves so much that has to been done. I know exactly where you are coming from. I take home over 1200 papers a week to grade and it is not fun when it consumes your life.
    I try to set aside time in the evenings for family and on the weekends but sometimes it is impossible and my family understands this thank goodness.
     
  6. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    I honestly do or I would have gone crazy. I have a 30 minute commute home so when I turn onto the last freeway entrance to go up the canyon I forget about school. I do bring papers home to grade on the weekends. And do little school things also. But on the weekdays I have to go home and cook dinner for my family and then I relax until it's bed.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    My husband is always yelling at me to stop thinking about school. It's a constant struggle with us. I haven't found the answer yet.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 7, 2008

    I look at school as a 7 hour break between two 14 mile bike rides.
     
  9. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I haven't been able to answer that either! Last night I had a little brake down aboutschool and my husband didn't understand how hard it is to leave it at thedoor.
     
  10. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    It's hard to keep school at school, but some things that help me:

    I have a 1.5 hour commute home, so I can do little catch-up things, reflect, plan for the next day, etc. on the train ride home. Once I'm home, I try to spend what little time I have doing "me" things... fooling around on the computer, having dinner, playing with the dog, reading, watching brainless TV... any comedy is great for taking my mind off things. My SO works nights, so I've got the house all to myself and nobody to distract me from thinking about the things that happened at work. It's really important to do "me" things or else I'll think about work all night.

    On really rough days, I'll take a Tylenol PM and go to bed early so I don't dwell...
     
  11. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    Sep 7, 2008

    I can't leave school at school. I have been thinking about my kids all weekend. It makes it harder to know that many of them have difficult home lives. I even dream about students! I am a first year teacher, so i think that has a lot to do with it. I just try to stay busy with other things. And since I'm like the 8th post of today (Sunday) I can see I'm not the only one who visits school sites on the weekends!
     
  12. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Sep 7, 2008

    I'm an English teacher too (and I also switched from 7th grade to 10th grade, so I know how you can feel like you're having a first year all over again).

    How do I leave school at school?

    *I share the stress of school stuff with other teachers at lunch and when we hang out socially, so that I'm not always thinking about it at home or talking about it with my husband or non-work friends.

    *I put "me" and "us" time first. Everything is a balance, but if the kids don't get a paper graded as soon because I was working out or having friends over for dinner the night before, then so be it.

    *The previous answer has a lot to do with time management. Now your first year of teaching anything new involves a lot of legwork to create lessons and assessments, but there are still little things you can do to reduce your workload:
    --Have the students in half of your classes peer edit papers while you focus on giving really good feedback for the other half. Then switch the next paper.
    --I recently cut the length of my vocab quizzes in half because our honors program grew. It took forever to grade 65 quizzes last year, and this year I'll have 95. So I made shorter, one-sided quizzes.

    Really, the greatest change will come naturally with time. My work buddies and I were just talking about how upset I got four years ago when my honors kids cheated on a test while I was on jury duty. I took it SOOO personally. It's not bad for me to be disappointed and express that--that's part of helping them grow up--but I stewed about it all weekend, couldn't sleep because of the adrenalin coursing through my veins (and my desire to throttle them upon their entry to my room on Monday), etc.

    Now I simply explain at the beginning of the year that I can't stop them from cheating if they're bent on it, but they should know that I am always willing to help them, and that there is never any shame in admitting that you're finding something difficult to master. There is shame in taking the easy way out by cheating, and you don't learn anything to make you a smarter/better person that way.

    So if I catch them cheating now, I know I shared my expectations with them, and they'll have to suffer the consequences. Hopefully they'll learn from that. But it wasn't because of ME that they [fill in the blank with the wrong behavior here].
     
  13. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Ugh. I don't know how to do it. The thinking consumes me at times. When I'm playing with my son, my mind is on him. But when he is napping or it's nightime, or I'm in the shower, or... I'm thinking about school. And it's my 9th year in the same grade! I don't know. I think maybe it's a personality thing?
     
  14. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Sep 7, 2008

    peggy, my husband would love to married to you. :) He is forever complaining about how much school consumes me, but I am not alone because my partner teacher husband complains of the same thing.
     
  15. lotusblossom

    lotusblossom Companion

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    Sep 7, 2008

    ugh, that is a very good question!

    last year what i found helped me was making sure i did things after work and on the weekends - and by "things" i mean things that had nothing to do with work!

    exercise and (i kinda hate to say it) wine help a lot, too.

    now that i'm 7 months pregnant and hormonal i'm finding i'm not as good at leaving school at school. part of it is probably that i can't have wine anymore ;-)

    my ap gave me great advice - he said "those kids are not thinking about you when they go home, so you shouldn't think about them."
     
  16. Dthig65

    Dthig65 Rookie

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    Sep 7, 2008

    Great question! I have the same problem with my husband Jem! He is always telling me to leave work at work...blah. Easier said than done! I would love to be able to do that, perhaps then I wouldn't have this constant ache in my neck and shoulders :)
     
  17. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Sep 7, 2008

    I had a very stressful year last year and at some point I just stopped bringing anything home with me. I became alot happier and a lot let stressed. Granted, I do still dream about school 85-90% of the time, but I leave work at work. If I do need to vent, I get on here or call a teacher friend.
     
  18. MsTeckel

    MsTeckel Comrade

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    Sep 7, 2008

    I bought a Wii and do agility with my dog. With other stuff to do, I still bring school home with me. Im a special education teacher for chidlren with autism. Theres always stuff to make and plan, or color or laminate. I think its just a neverending cycle.

    Im so glad my boyfriend is a special education teacher as well...so its nice to vent to him.
     
  19. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I always take school home. I just try to make sure that I have "me" or "us" time for at least 1 hour each night. When I get home, I make dinner, make lunch for the next day, iron clothes, do laundry, or whatever other "house" things need to be done. I eat dinner with DH, then I spend whatever time I have left on school stuff (if I need to) up until 1 hour before we go to bed...I need that time to de-stress. I don't think I could ever stop thinking about my kids or something that needs to be done at school though...and I think part of that is just the job.
    It might help to have a hobby...if I have time, I like to read or scrapbook, and that helps me get my mind off of school, even if it is only for a few minutes :)
     
  20. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    I have no idea how to do it either. I'm constantly thinking about it in some part of my mind. I even think about it during the summer..maybe because its only my second year? If someone can find a spoil proof plan-I'm up for it.
     
  21. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    Sep 7, 2008

    I've worked really hard this year to make a schedule for myself, and it's only been a few weeks...but it's working.
    I fill in my plans for the following week on a rotating schedule:
    Mon-Writing/Grammar
    Tues-Reading
    Wednes-Spelling/Working With Words
    Thurs-Math
    Frid-Science/SS

    I make all my copies, or have a copy mom make them, on Thursdays after school. I go to a small group through my church and stay later on Tuesdays in order to get odds and ends done, since it's not worth it to go home and then leave again.

    I give a lot of tests on Fridays, so I spend a few hours on Sun/Sat. planning and time on Monday entering those grades into the grade book.

    I recently started my masters...and I leave fairly early on Wednesdays to either go to class or do one of our online activities. I try to use all the time I have at school, so I don't have to do so much at home.

    I know that as the year goes on, things will come up, but I think by doing a little bit each day really helps!

    I started running last year, and have made an effort to leave by 530 most nights so that I can eat dinner and run. Also by becoming more active in my church/spending more time with my friends...I've been able to not focus so much on school and let it consume me. While I love what I do...I don't want it to be the the only thing I do. :)
     
  22. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    That's tough to answer. I really like my job and think about ways I can improve, but I can't say that I really over analyze anything. It's like a switch turns off when I walk out of the building. My second year was really rough and thinking about the discipline problems would keep me up at night, or wake me up early. When I switched schools and got into a better environment everything just clicked.
     
  23. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 8, 2008

    This one is hard for me too, but I try to remember that my family is my number one priority. This really put things into persepective last year for me.
    I think this year is going to be an easy year for me because I don't see any forthcoming issues with this group of kids and parents. :)
    And let me add that my husband has never said anything to me about school/work getting in our way. He has always been very supportive and helped me out in my classroom, etc...:hugs:
     

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