Workin' overtime

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by TeacherShelly, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2008

    Just need to vent ... I am working non-stop. Even when I'm not at school, I'm figuring out what I need to do, how to do it, or coming up with some new thing I want to do. It isn't UNPLEASANT, because I love this job, but it is wearing me down and feeling obsessive. Anyone else?

    I'm at work now because I got some training last week on spelling and math and have redone my whole plans. Even writers' workshop needs new binders now.

    Work, work, work.
     
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  3. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Oct 11, 2008

    I know what you mean 100%. I am constantly thinking about work as well, what I want to do etc. just like you are. Here's my advice... Give yourself atleast ONE day a week to leave it all behind. Get a manicure and a cup of coffee with a friend or something and get out of the house where you cannot possibly do work! You definitely don't want to run yourself ragged and burn out. Take care of you!!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  4. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2008

    Thanks, Trayums! I promised my husband that tomorrow is Family Day. I have two daughters - one of them told me she hopes I won't be a teacher next year because it's all I ever do. :( She's six.
     
  5. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Oct 11, 2008

    Awwwe!!!! I bet it is REALLY hard to balance so many important things. Marriage, kids and work. I also think that as the year goes on, it will get a bit easier because things will fall into place more at school and you will fall into a rhythm!
    I hope you have a great family day tomorrow. YOu deserve it!
     
  6. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    :) thanks so much! I feel better already :)
     
  7. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Oct 11, 2008

    :hugs: YAY!!!!!!
     
  8. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Oct 11, 2008

    Shelly, I once had a professor of mine tell a friend who had children that "It's a shame you have to sacrifice your own children to educate others children." I never thought much about it until I had my own son who is now 8, and it still makes me mad that a professor would say that to someone who's a single mom, trying to better herself.

    I agree with Trayums, it will get better as the year goes on. If this is your first year teaching, the first year is always the hardest. After that you've got some experience under your belt and it gets better.

    Hang in there!
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2008

    It DOES get better, trust us.

    And keep in mind: that grading can wait. The new binders will wait. Set some parameters that separate family time from work time. Keep a binder full of ideas you want to implement NEXT year. Don't feel obliged to change the things you already have in place, just because you've discovered something you think might work better.
     
  10. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Oct 11, 2008

    Amen to this. There are only so many things you can implement in a year. I kept a big stack of things that grew all last year that I wanted to do and organize before this year started. I got to some of it, but not all of it, since I moved offices this summer. I'm still not done, but the stack waits, the more pressing things get done, and I have a relaxing Sunday at home with my hubby. I swear I'll get it done this year... but you know what? I'm the only one who knows it's waiting to get done. All the really important stuff gets taken care of.
     
  11. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Shelly, I know how you feel. I spend so many hours outside of work just trying to keep up with requirements. I refuse to sacrifice my family time with my husband and kids, so I usually work around them, which often means I stay up very late at night and often don't get as much sleep as I should. It doesn't make it easier, but I am more at peace that way because I know I'll never look back and regret making the time for my family. It's a good thing, I can function well on little sleep!
     
  12. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Oct 12, 2008

    I feel it too... I was doing lesson planning Saturday afternoon and then worked on ONE section of science which I did from 8pm to 3am! (Minus some time taken out for a fight with my boyfriend :( )

    Today I have lesson planning (at least for Monday) and 3 more of classes of grading, missing hw sheets, and comments for parent conferences which are on Tuesday.

    I'm hoping this year will be working 24/7 and then next year it'll be cut down drastically. I also do make myself take breaks... I could be caught up with grading by now but I've been too exhausted after work so I don't force myself to do it. It really is NOT healthy.

    Good luck though!! Take mental health days after work--- you'll need them or you'll crash. *hugs*
     
  13. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Oct 12, 2008

    I have been putting in 12-hour days. It's my first year, too. Unfortunately, I am a bit of a perfectionist and I'll bet you are as well.

    Now that I am getting more of my classroom activities in order and becoming more familiar with my lesson plans, I will begin to cut back. I know there will be some days where I do stay late, but I plan to make those fewer and more far between.

    Make a pinkie swear with me that you will do the same thing. Spend your time with your own children, and you will be a better teacher for it in the long run :)
     
  14. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Hang in there! It DOES get easier! This is my fourth year in my own classroom and my second year in kindergarten- and this has been the best year yet! Once things are organized and I get into a routine, it is much easier.
    Take time for your family and your kids, things can wait. See if you can plan a certain amount of time to do school work everyday (or every other day or however you plan it). Set a time (maybe an hour), get done what you can, then go home and spend the night with the family. They are what is important at the end of the day. Hang in there this year, it will be tough, but it will only get easier. Good luck! :)
     
  15. strepsils

    strepsils Companion

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    Oct 14, 2008

    I make sure that weekends are NO SCHOOL.

    I work a bit harder during the work, and lots of pre-planning before each term so that it's ME TIME
     
  16. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    My husband is not happy with me and how much I work. I get up around 4. I get home from school around 6pm. Yesterday it was 8pm b/c of conferences.

    I feel so behind now. I still have a ton of plans to enter in the system and I got an email from my P and my ALT Cert advisor that each will becoming to observe me within the next two weeks. If either comes today, it will be disaster.
     
  17. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Oct 14, 2008

    Lemonhead, do what you can to make sure your husband feels loved and appreciated--- if that means skipping an evening or two from work, you have to do it. Here's the thing: your marriage will probably last longer than this job position. And a marriage is much more meaningful than any job--- even though I feel like a Mommy to my 67 5th graders and I adore each and every one of them, I'm still doing what I can to help my relationship out with my fiance.

    Just keep working when you can, but remember your private relationships count BIG TIME too. :)
     
  18. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oct 15, 2008

    My daughter is 6 too. Last fall I did my student teaching and that was very hard on her. This year she's accepting it better. It really is tough though, balancing work and family. I look forward to when I've been teaching a few years and the prep work will hopefully be a lot less than it is now, and hopefully I'll come up with grading strategies to help move that process along. I am so glad to work on a block schedule so that I only have 3 classes to grade for (20-28 kids in each) and not 5 classes of 20-30 kids.

    All we can do is hang in there and remind ourselves it should all get better eventually.
     
  19. 1angel

    1angel Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2008

    One thing to learn is that you will never get it all done! I think that is a cause of anxiety for a lot of us! You have to set limits and if it's not done it's not done. Learn what things absolutley have to be done by a certain time and get those done first.

    I also found my first two years in particular that I spent far too much time making very complicated lesson plans. FInd ways to simplify it all.

    Set up a weekend day that you will not work--trust me you need the break! YOu will be more productive the rest of the week as well. Also make an afternoon that you will go home early and DO NOT take your bag of stuff! GO home and enjoy something with the family.

    It's hard and can be scary, but I started putting my foot down about some things. I remember one time I was asked about why my lessons weren't posted and I just said that I needed a break and they are free to come see my hand written lesson plans on my desk and that I will have my lessons appropriately done next week. It can be scary to do that, but we are human and can only do so much!
     
  20. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Good for you 1angel! Teachers also have a life and we can't be expected to spend every waking our on work. If they really want things like that done, then they can free up some time during the school day to have it done.
     
  21. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I have been adamant that I leave work at work this year. The biggest change has been that I am married and I really think my husband deserves my presence. The last several years while we date and planned the wedding I had MANY late nights so that I could hang out with him and have plans, and still do my work stuff. Now that we are married I can't hide that late night work and we go to bed together. My one expection is the days I am off and he isn't. Those are my big planning days. I also make good use of my time at work.

    However, I came online to start my own thread about feeling overwhelmed...it gets better, but mostly I think it's just different, you constantly have to figure out what is worth your time and energy.
     
  22. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I feel like I am always looking for the next big hurdle. I posted this in another thread. I do love it but just when I think the coast is clear for a while, I get hit with something major. Forget planning time! Someone always needs to meet with me during that time.

    Right now my hurdles are these observations that are looming. I guess as time goes on I can pinpoint the time he will pop in. There are only 4 days left for the P to come in and only 6 for the ACP lady.
     
  23. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Oct 20, 2008

    Don't try to incorporate everything you learn this year! Incorporate what you can into the existing plans and dedicate a notebook or binder to things you want to incorporate/change next year. You will make yourself crazy if you try yo use all of the things that you learn immediately. Some things you will learn at training/conferences and some things you will learn this year out of necessity. You will be even more exhausted when you find out that some of your training (probably) comes from theories that sound great, but don't work in practice. Give yourself time to work within the framework that you set up. See what works, learn about the students and how to fit their needs. Add the rest as you feel comfortable!

    Also, take time to breathe! Don't work on school stuff every evening, and even leave it at school for a weekend occasionally!
     
  24. Ms.F

    Ms.F Rookie

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    I would love to be able to leave school, go home and not have to worry about anything until the next day. However, it seems that I am always doing lesson plans, grading papers, reading, or doing something school related. There is never any free time. Even on weekends I am sometimes at school working.

    This Saturday I have to go to school for a parent teacher conference. This particular parent claimed that there was no other time he could meet and I really need to meet with him, my principal and the coucilor because I have been having some severe problems with his son. So, I will be giving up my Saturday to have a parent meeting.

    I can't wait!
     
  25. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Wow, what a lot of online company I have :) Thanks for the sage advice, folks, especially about not trying to do everything I learn this year, keeping a notebook of things to do next time, keeping a day plus an evening OFF LIMITS for work, and knowing that it is never done - so just set a time to leave and go! Great thinking, ladies!! (If you know of FlyLady, she always says set a timer for 15 minutes and STOP whatever you're doing when it goes off. That is better than not doing anything 'cuz you don't have time to do it 'right'!)

    I am so lucky - my P and coworkers are so supportive it makes me kinda misty (how corny!) I was assigned a mentor teacher and she asked me today which day of the week I could commit to going home right after school. I said Wednesday and she said, "Good. I'm going to peek in and make sure you're gone."

    Also, the P called me in to tell me she expects me to focus on the three Rs this year. "That's why I hired the Jr. Museum people to come teach science, an art instructor to come in once per week, the kids go out to P.E. and music, and your cluster team leader is covering social studies planning so you can all do it together." I felt a big sigh just pour out. My energy went up, and I'm feeling safe and supported.

    I wish all teachers had such a wonderful environment, especially new teachers. One more example, I was telling my next-door teacher about a research project I'm launching with the kids and about an hour later she came in with a file folder of materials and overheads, plus three examples of the same kind of reports her students did last year. Wow, a packaged resource made to order. I'm feeling the love.
     
  26. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2008


    I will say the hardest thing for me is fitting it all in. I have a hard time with that. Without all the experience, it is hard for me to decide what to leave out.
     
  27. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Nov 2, 2008

    This is exactly how it felt my first year, but trust me it does get better. This is my third year teaching and while I have a new prep, it doesn't take me nearly as long to plan as it used to. Best of luck and remember it will get better!
     
  28. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Nov 2, 2008

    Ms. F,
    I totally understand why you are going in this Saturday (sometimes it makes our lives easier if we do ) but I often use this to help parents understand --

    If your license is about to expire, you have to get to the DMV. You can't renew it online. You can't renew it by mail. You have to do it in person. They are only open from 9am until 4pm, Monday through Friday. If you call them and say "I have to work, I can't get there. Would you open back up at 7:30pm so I can come in and renew my driver's license?" How do you think they'd respond? They would tell you that is too bad, and that if you don't want to get arrested for driving without a license, you need to find a way to get there during their hours. And somehow, we all do manage.

    If you work 6 days per week until 7pm, and you have no way to cash your paycheck, do you really think you could call the bank and say "Please open up on Sunday so I can get my money and buy food for my kids?" Uhmmm, nope! You have to find a way to get it done during the hours they are open. Yes, they have ATMs (kind of like our online gradebooks) but if they want to go into the bank lobby, they have to get off of work and go. Somehow, they manage.

    What galls me more than anything is this -- most of the time when you do go out of your way and stay really late for a parent, or come in over the weekend, they don't even bother showing up!!!!!!!!

    For the first 5 years I was a teacher, I went out of my way to accommodate parents. I stayed late to meet with them. I came in a 6am so I could meet with them before they went to work (our school didn't start until 9am!) Then I finally realized, it isn't my responsibility. It is theirs. This is their child!

    I don't do it anymore. I will call them on the phone in the evening or on weekends, but I won't stay at the school or go in special anymore.

    I believe in putting the responsibility firmly where it lies.

    The same for "new programs" that schools throw on us at the last minute. "Here is a new writing program (on Friday afternoon) and we want you to begin using it Monday!" Uhmmm, no. That won't be possible. Would you like to hire a sub to come in Monday, while I work in the teacher's workroom setting things up? That is possible.
     

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