Physically exhausting or Mental exhausting?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeachCafe, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Apr 17, 2015

    Talking to a colleague today we got on the topic of switching positions and why were are X grade level, etc.

    The gist of it was depending on the grade level being mentally or physically exhausted.

    I've been doing sped long enough to where I'm just plum mentally exhausted and that affects me more because my brain is up top and it just shuts down everything else like I'm a robot that's been powered down or something.

    She said she'd never consider Kinder because there's exhausting and that's when we realized it's more physical at least for us and for her that affects her more. Verses me I can be physically drained and give myself some energy but get me mentally drained and I'm just useless.

    I'd say PK-2 = just physical exhaustion vs 3-5 = mentally draining.

    Would you say this is somewhat accurate? Or at least to you? Which do you find affects you more? Is it by grade level? A combo?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Apr 17, 2015

    I think mentally for both, based on my experience subbing in the primary, and my subbing/full time in intermediate. However, there's also plenty of physical exhaustion from the long, long days that I spend (and the occasional time I try to join them for a couple minutes of PE ;))
     
  4. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    I teach 1st, and I would say I'm more mentally exhausted... but when I went on a diet last year, I was pretty physically exhausted, as well. LOL. The younger grades do require more movement from the teacher. This year, I have a barstool in the center of my room to sit on while teaching, and it has helped a lot.

    Being mentally exhausted is much worse for me -- I need some "down time" to be able to tackle work again or interact with others like a normal person.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't find teaching exhausting for the most part. In fact, I tutor three hours after school most days...those are twelve hour days. But I'm not exhausted. I'm motivated and energized by what we do.:love:
     
  6. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    For me, it can be a combination of both. I was more physically exhausted when I was in the classroom. The last year that I was in the classroom, I was burning out & it was both.

    Since then, it has been a combination of both. I love tutoring after school; but after about 3 weeks it drains me mentally & I start dragging.

    I know that there are certain things that I can't do or must do to avoid feeling physically & mentally exhausted.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I do think k and 1 are more physical, but any teacher who decorates a room, stores resources, moves classrooms, changes buildings, walks up and down stairs, and bends up and down a million times a day can easily get exhausted. And that's just about everyone. Except, obviously, czacza, who could be superhuman.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Funny. :D

    Keeping busy keeps me energized. I wear a FitBit with a goal of 10,000 steps a day. So far today, I've made breakfast, worked out, chiropractor adjustment and went to the sports store to get shorts for a fundraiser basketball game I'm in tomorrow. Dropping a load of laundry in now, a bit of yard work and then dropping off DS and DIL at airport. DH and I are putting patio furniture out this afternoon and then grilling and chilling. Let's just say I sleep well.
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I think it's both. I'm in almost constant movement for the whole day, and there are so many things always going on that you have to be aware of.

    The mentally exhausting part can easily vary by group though. This year's group is far more mentally exhausting than last year's group.
     
  10. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    It can be mentally exhausting sometimes. I don't find it physically exhausting, but I do keep myself in shape, so maybe I have a higher tolerance.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :thumb:
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    It can be a little of both, depending on the year. I always find the first few weeks energizing, but equally exhausting. In general I don't find it exhausting. It's about working smart and finding balance.
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Having taught 1st and 5th, I would say 1st is more tiring in general, but I don't know if I would say it's physically exhausting. I found 1st more tiring because of their neediness and the fact that they just aren't very independent, especially at the beginning of the year. I feel much less exhausted this year than I did last year with my 1st graders. My 5th graders energize me in a lot of ways, because I really love this grade level. It can be mentally exhausting to prepare and teach higher content, though. Math has been especially exhausting this year. ;)

    HOWEVER, I am also an introvert. I've always attributed at least some of the tiredness I feel from teaching to that. Being around people all the time is not an energizer for me like it would be for an extrovert. I typically need large chunks of time on the weekends to be at home and decompress.
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I feel the same way as you do, yellowdaisies, and wish I had realized it when I was in the classroom. When the school required attendance at events after hours and weekends, it would push me over my limit. Since then, I am just tutoring and can avoid the problem while still teaching, which I love.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I, too, am an introvert. Most people don't know that, though, due to the nature of my job as VP.

    The other day, my BF came home from work and it was completely silent in the house. I was on the couch with my puppy and doing work on my laptop.

    It feels good to have quiet time to decompress. I feel like I'm "on" all day long and it's exhausting--some days physically and other days mentally.
     
  16. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    it's interesting to see that some teachers are introverts as well. I'm kind of mixture in life, but when it comes to teaching, I'm definitely introvert (just leave me all alone, let me teach!)

    I was subbing in a 5th grade classroom today, and there was an interesting slide show presentation on Choosing a career. There they divided people's strength into Realist, Investigator, Artistic, etc.
    Do you know where they placed teachers? Into the Social category instead of putting them, like Beaty, therapy, etc. into multiple categories
     
  17. Starista

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    Hmm.. This is a good question.

    I'd say it's a split for me and I teach fourth. We have a nice long walk to specials classes... I am trying to put a positive spin on it with the kids and practice mindfulness. LOL. I ask them to identify 5 smells in the air (after having an "appropriate odors to report) talk first of course. :)

    And on the walks back I pray or just try to "zone out" into a mental rest for a moment or two. (Don't think I've mastered this - I'm usually thinking of all the 9826352 things to do before dismissal).
     
  18. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Rookie

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    I think this is a great question. For me, it is not physically exhausting but it can be mentally exhausting. I've taught younger kids and older kids so I'm not convinced the grade makes a difference. I do think the person may make a difference. I'm extremely introverted. I love helping others....students and adults alike. However, I'm just wired to need mental downtime and solitary moments. So the field of education leads me to be much more extroverted than I truly am.....which can leave me mentally drained.
     
  19. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Apr 28, 2015

    This makes a lot of sense because I'm the same way.

    I'm very introverted. I love people but I love being by myself and having my time to myself to regroup.

    More often than not, at the end of the day my body feels awake but my brain is just fried and drained....kinda like right now.


    Does being in a testing grade not making a difference? You're constantly doing benchmarks, admin coming down on you on scores and strategies and so on and so forth. That's gotta be physically and mentally draining too depending on the person.
     
  20. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Rookie

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    I think it depends on personality again. For me, personally, I do better when I'm in a testing grade. I'm introverted yet very competitive and results oriented. So when I have a goal to work on, I'm more motivated to be creative and figure out how to get my kids there. When I don't, my introverted-ness seems to really kick in and I have no sense of purpose, thus affecting my drive.

    In writing this, I realize these traits aren't exactly positive....but I'm being honest and its truly something I've seen in myself.

    For others, the pressures and demands of testing may have a completely different effect on them.
     
  21. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Wow, I thought I was the only one! I consider myself an introvert in many aspects of my life, but also extroverted. It really depends on the situation.

    I am mostly mentally exhausted. As teachers we make thousands of active decisions a day and it's really tiring! We have a specific skill set--we have to think on our feet making the best decision that can affect an entire classroom of kids (not to mention ourselves!).

    I remember watching the documentary "American Teacher" (which if you haven't seen, please do--it's awesome and realistic) and they were comparing teaching to how doctors make active decisions with patients. I totally agree!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  22. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    I cannot speak for any district outside of my own, but I believe that primary is moreso mentally, than physically exhausting because we begin standardized testing in pre-K.

    The children are still so young, yet they take at least 2 - 3 practice tests a week to prepare them for the monthly standardized assessments.

    It's extremely challenging to prepare these little ones for tests and to try to make learning fun, while still meeting the numerous standards and getting the kids to achieve the scores the administration demand.
     
  23. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    testing in pre-K! this sounds pretty crazy!!!
    what state is that in?
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    You don't know physically exhausting until you have to chase kids who try to run out of class, physically restrain them for hours or dodge them when they try to physically injure you. Bending down a few times a day can hardly compare.
     
  25. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    I feel you because I'm sped too but most of the time for me it's 30% what you said and 70% mental.

    At this point I come to work ready and when I see Mr. Man/Miss Girl getting ready to charge at me I'm like "come kid let's dance"

    I had a 2nd grader just stand up and bolt like it was a real fire in my room just for no reason. Our SLP and I got to her before she hit the doors. I finally got my P to see reason so we wear tennis shoes every day.

    But that's more on the bimonthly side now the physical side. Mentally at the end of the day I want NO eye contact or interaction with anyone under 18 and it's really bad.
     

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