Teacher Meltdown

    Today is one of those days in which I would definitely quit. I find end of terms extremely stressful and feeling I loose control of my life because of my job, makes me sick. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, it’s just that I have to teach so many groups to make a living that in these days I feel I chose the wrong job. Have you ever found yourself thinking ‘why didn’t I just choose something else?’. Well I do, and right now I feel so overwhelmed by the amount of things I have to start/finish, that all I want to do is sit and cry. Papers to correct, things to grade, report cards, teacher-student conferences, teacher-parents conferences, ‘oh! tomorrow A (who’s been on holidays for a month) is coming back, I need to get organized’, ‘don’t forget to print the extra practice for B’ and ‘don’t forget to put the book in the bag’… my mind is full of imaginary post-its that I keep on sticking in my brain every time I try to relax. ‘You better wake up early tomorrow morning’ I think to myself, ‘go to sleep’.

    I live in a country where teachers are paid for the number of hours we are in front of a class, all the extra things like correcting, grading, planning, cutting, designing and pasting are not paid. I teach 9 different groups this year, different buildings, different ages (11 to 40), different groups, different purposes, different plans; longer classes, shorter classes and again… don’t get my wrong, I love my students and I love my job, but the thing is there’s no human being who can be in charge of more than a 100 students, teach them well, have a life and be happy. It’s simple… it is happiness and health or being a good teacher.

    It doesn’t matter how much I love my job. Being in the classroom makes me happy, designing material makes me happy, but it’s the parent that didn’t talk to me properly today what stresses me out, the kid who lies to his/her parent to hide what he/she does wrong, the things I have to solve before the end of the term and the never ending list of things that drain my energy daily.

    ‘Find another job’ I keep on repeating to myself. ‘Maybe if you just teach two groups, you could be happy!!!’… but at the same time I would need to get another job because there’s no way I can survive without my other 7 groups. And ‘what if I do it?’ I ask myself… what if I find another job… anything that doesn’t make me that happy but at least can allow me to be human. You know… enjoy nature, spend time with my family and friends, have a weekend… what if I could live my life and be a teacher at the same time? ‘Only in your dreams I tell myself’, ‘maybe in a different country?’ I don’t know, ‘go to sleep’

    As I’m writing this, I get an e-mail from a student at 11.00pm asking about what she has to study for tomorrow (which was mentioned many times). ‘Tomorrow I’ll answer’ I think, but then I know that tomorrow I won’t have time, so I will go to sleep later, just one minute, I’ll answer that e-mail, put the book in the bag, print that extra practice and go to sleep.

    I go to bed and as I try to listen to music to relax I remember of something else I haven’t done and how I wish I had chosen a different job and how I love it but is killing me and how that parent was so disrespectful today. I try and try… harder every day. Specially since I noticed it’s affecting my health and I’m stressed and overwhelmed. I close my eyes and I think of how I should design material for TPT, or quit my job, or maybe tomorrow will be brighter. ‘OK, go to sleep, you’ll come up with something tomorrow’.

Super Simple Songs

        Many years ago, when I was just starting, I used to spend hours and hours trying to find material for my little kids. There were many things, but yet, being a music lover, I didn’t like everything I saw. One day I came across Super Simple Songs and my long teaching material list was reduced quite a lot.

      I remember using their songs for the first time. I can still picture my little kids’ faces and the fun we had! It was important for me because their material was useful, entertaining and well done, but also because seeing the way they worked with little kids inspired me to try new things with my students.

      When you are new at teaching, you ask yourself “Will I be able to do that one day?” quite a lot. At least I did! I saw them and I admired them so much for their original ideas and their energy that I wished that at least I could imitate them just a little bit.

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Every Kid Needs a Champion

“Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”

Rita Pierson

    Years ago, I came across this powerful and life changing video, and since then, I haven’t stopped sharing it. It’s the message Rita tells the world what takes me back to her video every now and then. I must confess that I sometimes need to go back to it and remind myself that, even in the most difficult days, you have to believe in yourself and your students.

   I’ve learnt from experience that we all need someone to save us at some point in our lives. In fact, I feel I am saved by my students with every hug, every smile, every achievement. If you are a teacher you know that teaching is harder than you thought it would be before you started, but still, when you get feedback from your students, you get that extra energy you need to finish the week or sometimes even the day.

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