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’.