I know it is politically incorrect to even think that a teacher could be worn out after only one week of school, much less suggest that some teachers are already looking a little crisp around the edges. One year, I taped a funny comic (counting down to the end of the year) just a day or two after the beginning of school. The principal whipped that little paper down immediately and told me it was NOT funny at all. She said it was demoralizing. Oh well. Humor is in the eye of the beholder.
But on a totally serious note, why are some of my teacher friends already fatigued?
1. Some of it is teacher jet lag. After eight weeks of getting adequate sleep and nourishment, not to mention regular toileting, the physical body takes some time to adjust to constant moving, speaking, listening, directing, organizing, monitoring, and prevailing. Especially on 6 hours of sleep a night.
2. Teachers start looking too far ahead. It’s a mistake to imagine yourself in every day of the school year. Sure, you set goals and objectives. Sure, you write stuff in your planner from August to June. But don’t let your imagination drag you through each day of end of grade testing. Or how you will complete your portfolio of accomplishments. Take it one day at a time emotionally.
3. The class has a lot of rough spots. Get some help. Make sure you are videotaping so you can spot those weaknesses. Allow yourself time to get on your feet. Be patient with yourself and the kids.
4. Focusing on too many goals at one time is a sure way to overload your circuits. This is true for both you and the kiddos. Be realistic. Prioritize. Focus your efforts on a manageable set of goals, whether it’s classroom behavior or establishing center routines.
5. Admit that teaching is hard work. It’s a huge responsibility but with amazing rewards. Have some R & R this weekend and you’ll be all set for Monday!