Is it normal to not want a social life first year?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by stressednewbie, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. stressednewbie

    stressednewbie Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2007

    I'm a first year 3rd grade male teacher, and it is more overwhelming that I would have thought. I'm amazed at the amount of work I have every day and the fatigue I feel at the end of the day. It is better than the beginning of the year, of course, and I have gotten a routine down much better than the first month of school that came in like a lion.

    Anyhow, is it normal to not even want much of a social life during this first, stressful year of teaching? I have turned down dates and just making new friends in general (which I now regret) due to the fact that I was too stressed to even think about making a committment to plans, phone conversations, outsing, or social events that I will probably turn down because any time not teaching I like to just crash, sleep, workout by myself, or hang with my two best friends. Any of you do this? I feel as though I lost the chance of some nice friends I could have made.

    I feel much regret. I know I can NOW change this. I'm just wondering if anyone else has doene this and if I"m normal. Or did I just handle it all wrong and should have extended myself to making new friends.

    Need feedback.
     
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  3. BeckyPie7

    BeckyPie7 Companion

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    Apr 19, 2007

    I actually CLUNG to people this year. It was my first year too and I grabbed onto all of the friends and support I could. Maybe too much. haha I can see how that would happen though. I've also been incredibly busy but something that has helped me is my vow to NEVER take school work home. If I don't get it done at school it just doesn't get done and I handle it another day. I think it's important to make time for friends and dates. If you don't it's just so much harder. That's my opinion. Don't feel bad or beat yourself up, different people handle stress differently. I handle it by socializing and you handle it by working. I've heard that the second year is so much better and I think we'll both find that out.
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Apr 19, 2007

    You guys are making me nervous! Haha! Good luck to both of you. I think Beckypie7 is right...people deal differently. Don't get down on yourself about not wanting to socialize, I'm sure I'll be the same way my first year.
     
  5. awaxler

    awaxler Comrade

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    Apr 19, 2007

    Your first year of teaching is extremely difficult...most people do not understand how difficult and time consuming it can be...it does get easier though...

    However, you need to make time for yourself...otherwise you may burnout which happens with far too many teachers.
     
  6. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 19, 2007

    Can someone elaborate on what is the most time consuming part?

    Is there anything, in hindsight, that you could have done from the beginning that would have helped you have more time now?

    Thanks!
    Lemonhead
     
  7. Engteach13

    Engteach13 Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2007

    I am really not sure if it is normal, but I feel the same way more or less. When the weekends roll around all I want to do is sleep and relax. I am only 24 and all my friends are going out partying all the time and I just have no desire to. My boyfriend makes fun of me. He jokes that since I have become a teacher I have become less fun.
     
  8. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Apr 19, 2007

    My first year was the same. Actually I'm not a party person in the first place. I was very exhausted, and stayed at school later than anyone. There were many weekends that I would be up at school. Well I still do that, but I've gotten better this semester. That's just me. I like stuff to be a certain way, and I can always find things to work on.
     
  9. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Apr 19, 2007

    I'm not sure it goes away after the first year, but having done things once already does cut down on some of the prep time.

    I am pretty much a homebody during the week--out the door early, home late, and then relaxing on the computer or the couch. I spend maybe one Saturday a month at work.

    I might go out one weekend night, but even then, I'm usually in bed by midnight. :p

    It's a far cry from when I worked in restaurants, that's for sure... at work until 1 or 2 a.m., out until 3 or 4 (or later), in bed until noon.

    Being "grown up" is not so bad, really. (But I'm already married... maybe it's worse for you singletons?)
     
  10. lilymoo

    lilymoo Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I had to laugh when I read your post because you described me to a T the first year I taught (4 years ago! gulp!) . It is exhausting and a lot of pressure and if you are also a neurotic perfectionist like I am, it will quickly wear you out!
    I agree with the previous poster that it's important to make time for yourself. Now that you have that first year under you belt I think you'll find it easier to devote more time to your personal life.
    All the best! :)
     
  11. patti2

    patti2 Cohort

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    Aug 20, 2007

    Be careful! Last year was my first year and I think I was a little too gung-ho with all of the school work. I got burnt out by about April and felt DONE! I was tired of it consuming my life. This year, I am setting a limit on how late I am staying and at least twice a week, I am NOT staying late. I have kids myself and they suffered a little (I had warned them and my hubby that I would be like that). HINDSIGHT-nobody is expecting you to be there 24/7!!!! Weekends are for family. If you have to stay late on Friday night to be prepared on Monday then make that one and only night the one where you stay late. NEVER GO IN ON THE WEEKENDS OR TAKE A BUNCH OF STUFF HOME! Also-look to see what areas cause the most extra work and change them....lighten the load.

    GOODLUCK ALL!
     
  12. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I wouldn't say that is abnormal. But I would also say to make sure you take time for yourself. I was so overwhelmed my first year that I made a strict rule that my work stayed at work. Sometimes this meant staying until 6 or 7, but when i left, i was done. Try finding some friends or co-workers, especially other newer teachers, to have happy hour with or something. Make it a once a week commitment.

    The most important thing to remember is that if you don't have a perfectly planned lesson one day, you aren't ruining their educational foundation or anything. I think sometimes we take things a little too seriously our first year.
     
  13. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I think the first year is difficult. I remember some days were just so HARD. I really made an effort to socialize. Instead of going home when I left, I would make sure to go to the gym, then meet up with friends. I taught in a really bad school and couldn't stay in the building after school let out. I did planning at home and sometimes would find myself creating new lesson plans with handouts, vocabulary worksheets, etc. in the middle of the night.

    I moved schools, and found my workload much more in fact, but it is a school I will stay at and love. My first year, I went in every weekend for a whole day, and stayed until 6 or 7 p.m. during the week! I was very overworked. I have tamed down in the years since, but am still a workaholic.

    I have now made an effort to do the following:

    -I carpool to work (lots of good reasons for this) but that way I need to leave when the normal people leave.

    -I make plans for Saturday night every weekend, and usually get together for lunch or something on Sunday afternoon. I go in on Sunday a.m. to prep for the week, but know I need to leave to meet a friend or something. I still CRASH on Friday nights, and rarely go out. In fact, I am mad if someone has a b-day or something on a Friday night because I am exhausted.

    -I started planning a weekly get together with friends. It's very silly but we watch America's Next Top Model every week and take bets on the winner. Usually about 5-10 people show up every week (on a Wednesday no less) and we have a blast. It shows twice a year, so this gets me through the winter in terms of socializing. We used to rotate houses, but I wanted it at my house regularly because a) it allows me to visit with friends without going anywhere, b) it forces me to keep a spic and span house, as I am not usually tidy unless I think I will have company or dating someone

    -I make sure to drive directly to the gym or yoga after work. This is a good thing to do for me, but also keeps me from going home and crashing. I pay for Yoga classes on top of my gym membership somewhere else, and force myself to do that 2x a week also. (The yoga studio at the gym is lame yoga)

    You probably won't have an ANTM party, but maybe you could commit to something else each week to socialize. Also, go out on dates. You wouldn't want to be an old lonely teacher some day!
     
  14. weno88

    weno88 Companion

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    Sep 4, 2007

    That pretty much sounds like me. I'm putting in 10+ hours a day working or planning plus weekends and football games. Honestly, this is how I want it to be. My boyfriend is still in college and works, so we don't see much of each other anyway. I would just as soon devote my time to my school and students.

    I love working with all of the other people in my school, and I look forward to seeing the other teachers every day. So I don't think I am missing out on a social life. In fact, I am much more social than I was in college.
     
  15. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

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    Sep 5, 2007

    I dont want a social life outside of my primary family. If there are school functions, I probably won't go! I spend enough time with work people, I want to go home and be with my family.
     
  16. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Sep 6, 2007

    I'm kind of happy that I don't have a social life. I attended a Big Ten university, was in a sorority, etc, etc. and was always busy with school and socializing. I've moved home (dragging my boyfriend across the state to live with me). All of my high school friends have moved away, so I don't have many people around that are my age. I kind of like it because I can focus on my first year of teaching, and not be distracted by friends. However, I do get lonely and miss having my girlfriends around to talk to or go grab some Starbuck's with. I do try to talk to my close friends who are also first year teachers once a week to catch up and vent.
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Sep 6, 2007

    My first classroom experience was emotionally draining, on Fridays, I'd crash on the couch, Saturday, I'd be so anxious that I'd wake up and think about planning lessons... I'd spend half the day in the library... and before you knew it it was Sunday... and the knots in my stomach would come back again. What social life?? I was too consumed by getting organized.:confused:
     
  18. juc162

    juc162 Companion

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    Oct 6, 2007

    cmcdonno,

    I was the same way in college. Attended a big 10 school, was in a sorority, did the whole socializing everyday, pretty much 24/7 thing too. Now that I'm out, the real world has calmed me down quite a bit. However, I feel the same way as you in that it's sad sometimes when you actually have a little free time and want to spend it with a girlfriend who used to live with you or just down the street. I think that is just part of being out of college though, which stinks, but has to happen eventually.

    PS. This is kind of random but is anybody else tired of people underestimating the amount of work you have to do as a first year teacher? or just a teacher in general? None of my best friends are teachers and they just really don't get how much time I'm investing in my career and that I can't just take a random road trip on the weekend anytime I want. It's really frustrating!
     
  19. dizzybri14

    dizzybri14 Companion

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    Oct 6, 2007

    Last year was also my first year teaching. I spent a lot of time in and out of school working on plans, etc. About half way through the year I found myself burning out, so I made a vow to leave at 3:30 everyday (when the teachers are allowed to leave). I have made sure to use any time possible through the day to work on plans, etc. Every few minutes helps! Take advantage of them! This is my second year and it is a whole lot LESS stressful. It DOES get better IF you take ahold of the responsibilities, and don't let them take ahold of you!
     
  20. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Oct 6, 2007

    it gets better as i'm sure you'd probably see now. my first year i was sooooooooooo excited to be grading papers and coming up with lessons i couldn't wait to take things home! by christmas i was throwing things out (ssshhhhh) :whistle:

    like engteacher, i'm young myself (25) and although i've always pretty much been a homebody, i still found myself wanting to go to bed @ 8. for the night!! then there were some nights i TRIED to be adventurous and hang out w/ my bf (who was younger than me and didn't understand what a career was) til 3am. yea.. not wise. won't do those again.

    this is my 3rd year, but i'm teaching a different subject, so in some ways it feels like my first. and for the past 3 weeks i have been going to bed faithfully @ 11pm. like DYING to be in the bed @ that time. i used to complain about my bf (who's a cop) and him never having time for me. yea, those complaints went out the window when i finally got serious with my work. i'm not saying i could care less if we visit, but uuhhh, we don't argue as much anymore about this uuhhh quality time issue. i COMPLETELY understand being pressed for time & sleep & relaxation. but another story for another day. going to bed early wouldn't have been such a problem if i didn't have so much work to catch up on from the beginning of the school year. :whistle: but i'd love to know how beckypie & silverspoon don't take any work home. please share your secrets. lol. then again, it's not like the work gets done or graded when it's here anyway. it just took a vacation from school to home, sat there in my bag, watched tv with me, ate dinner with me, went to sleep and went right back to its home the same way it came. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL.

    i'm AWFUL!!
     
  21. GrandHighWitch

    GrandHighWitch Companion

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    Oct 8, 2007

    Stressednewbie, I'm the same way right now. I go to school, stay late into the afternoon/evening, go home to eat dinner and watch some TV, and crash. Even on weekends, I've been going to bed fairly early because I am just SO TIRED and need to catch up on sleep. Most of my friends are kinda scattered across the state with their own new jobs, so it's hard to get together with them anyway, but I'm not even really missing hanging out with them because when I'm not at school, I'm happy to just veg out by myself at home. So yeah, I have no social life right now either, and I'm not even missing one.
     
  22. teachercat

    teachercat Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2007

    I can relate.

    I started mid-semester last year, so this is still my first year. When I started, I was probably working 60-70 hours a week. Now, I probably work about 45 with all the streamlining I've done.

    At the same time, I'm getting my certification (this is my second career), which means night classes and Saturday classes. I've never been so busy in my whole life.

    It's a huge struggle to continue with social commitments. Usually, I feel tired, and I just want to rest. I pick and choose my battles. It's good to spend time with friends, but sometimes it's good to get plenty of sleep or maybe spend time reading a book (not school related). :cool:

    P.S. The worst is when you get sick. Forget it. You'll never see me again then.
     
  23. KLily21

    KLily21 Companion

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    Oct 9, 2007

    Same here! My boyfriend (and other non-teachers in general) just don't understand how much work goes in to teaching! And I'm in my fourth year now...but I'm teaching an all new subject this year so I'm starting all over from scratch. My advice for new teachers is: 1. to be as organized as you possibly can and 2. USE YOUR PLAN TIME WISELY! I used to use my plan time to chill out and chat with other teachers, but now I've learned that it's best to just buckle down and get as much done during your plan as you can. It really helps prevent burn out!
     

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