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hawkeyegirl hawkeyegirl is offline
 
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Drowning
Old 09-28-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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Hi Everyone,
I feel like I'm drowning in school work...meetings, assessments, online data entry, piles on my desk, communication with parents, behavior plans. There are so many things I want to do in my classroom with reading, writer's workshop, math...so many things I want to get better at, but I never have the time. I have bought so many professional books, and the pile just sits there because I'm exhausted at night. I've been teaching for 22 years and it's hard job that I love, but right now I'm just so tired. What do you do when you feel like this? How do you focus in on just a few things to work on/try in your classroom? Thanks for listening.


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ditto...
Old 09-28-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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I am a "veteran"/older teacher and feel the same. More expected, huge class, and I never get to the bottom of everything. Maybe we all expect too much of ourselves.
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too much
Old 09-28-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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It is so overwhelming-just doing the "basics" is difficult!! It is sad, I still try to integrate some "fun"things in, but it gets more difficult every year. The last 3or 4 have been the worst. I, too, have many years experience, wish the pendulum would swing back to something more reasonable for students and teachers!!
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Overwheled!
Old 09-28-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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I could have written your email! I have been teaching 22 years as well and feel like I am always 3 steps behind!
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drowning
Old 09-28-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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You are not alone. I have been a teacher for 18 years. I try to get better and better at my job. I have a master's degree and keep up with what research says about teaching children, but I am drowning also.


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I hear you
Old 09-28-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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I just had a melt down the other day to my mother. I was behind on things. I have been working many long hours, too.

I had some deadlines to meet today and now I am having a glass of wine. I still might check homework but that is it for tonight.

This is a very demanding job. It has never been easier than the year before.
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You are not alone
Old 09-28-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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I am feeling the same way and I have been teaching for over a decade now. It makes me forget why I started doing this job in the first place.
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Must be something in the air
Old 09-28-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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Ohhh, looks like a lot of us are in the same boat. Sometimes you simply need a mental health day! Remember to take care of you. You're worth it. Hang in there. When I'm feeling like this, I ask myself, "What else can you see yourself doing?" After 22 years, I still haven't found the answer. I guess I was meant to be a teacher who makes a difference in the lives of so many.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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My cohorts and I have been verbalizing the exact same thing. I thought it was because I am teaching first and second multi-level class this year at a brand new school where everything and every protocol must be set-up and established including the report card template. I feel so bad for everyone, but I am glad to know I am not alone.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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I'm sorry that everyone is feeling overwhelmed. But I feel so much better after reading these posts. I was beginning to think I was losing it and should consider another career.


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Oh my....
Old 09-28-2011, 05:19 PM
 
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I could of written the same thing! I had a small melt down today in class. I was sent 2 emails regarding a student who needed some breathing treatment at 10 and 2pm. I sent her up at 10 and made sure I had a note for the 2pm one. Well, we had a fire drill at 1:30...came back in at 1:45....had to calm one 2nd grader down because he was freaking out with the practice drill and then the phone starts ringing......the office calling twice to tell me that two of my students would be pick ups. Then I started a new chapter in math and we were playing a game. Then the phone rings again and I run to answer it and it is the nurse asking where is the student who needs the treatment. AAARRGGHHH!!!! She is leaving now, then the nurse says well the mom is going to be very upset with us because she needs these treatments on time!!! Why can't you send her up on time? REALLY!!!!!!!! I was mean and just said, yes she is on her way and she is in afterschool club so she will have plenty of time for the treatment....I need to get back to class and teach! At that moment I just wanted to scream and leave! So after school I talked to the nurse and she said if we don't give this student her treatments on time mom will pull her out of school? Like it was all my fault!!! I just wanted to say "OK".
Yes, so tonight I'm putting in grades, trying to grade papers, documenting test scores, writing my goals for the year and finding ideas for my low group......oh yeah and then maybe head off to bed.

I have 24 years in and 8 more to go??? Really!
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This helps
Old 09-28-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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Thank you, everyone, for your posts. It helps to know I'm not alone! Sometimes I think it is just me.
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Thank you
Old 09-28-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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Girls, you have made my night. I too have had a ruff year so far. I think we are all in the same boat and some days seems without a paddle. I have a mom on my case that doesn't like it that I don't send home graded papers EVERY NIGHT, behavior chart everyday, and now tells me that playing music in my classroom is not good for her ADHD child. REally? hummmm my computer tells me that music is wonderful for ADHD children. I've been told 3 different ways to write lesson plans in the past 6 weeks, don't MAP testing, wrote UBD's, been told we are starting a new reading program, and start teaching with COmmon Core. However, the grades on our report card will not be Common Core Standards.....REALLY??? what the heck? So my thinking is.....like the song......DON'T WORRY.....BE HAPPY!!!!! thanks again girls.......I don't feel so horrible anymore.
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Wow!!!
Old 09-28-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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I've been feeling the same way and it's only been my 2nd year. It does make me feel better to know that I'm not alone but I hope I can make it as long as some of the previous posters.
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always wanting more
Old 09-28-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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I'm there with everyone else - 25 years experience, and I'm starting to think. .. I don't know if I have the stamina to keep going many more years.

RTI meetings and more data wanted
grading papers (that's on MY time now)
GT meetings (nightly this week)
curriculum issues
struggling students (3 failing already) + 7 GT kids (trying to differentiate for them) - along with the rest of the class
mentoring a new teacher
lead teacher meetings
after school duties
report cards - grades due
technology meetings (always expected to add more tech each year)

etc etc etc

Moral is at its all time low at my school, and we usually are an upbeat group - very few complainers. It's becoming too much.
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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My team and I were just talking about this yesterday. I'm in my 4th year and I feel like it's not too late for me to find a new profession. The stress put on teachers is just ridiculous. And it doesn't help the the public support just isn't there (at least not here in Wisconsin!). I thought teaching was a respected profession, but I am learning that many people dislike teachers, and they like to talk about it, since they are paying our salaries.

I just can't catch up at work. I try to get there early every morning, but it's difficult because I'm going to bed so late. I bring tons of work home with me. I can't just keep work at work, because I would never get anything accomplished! I feel like I'm just doing the bare minimum, and I hardly have time to plan that. Forget about fun projects and unique lesson plans. I decided to do an art project on Friday because I just want to do something fun!
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Run away from the teaching profession
Old 09-28-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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This is my 29th year. I wanted to reach 30 but can't. I have to get out. I have had enough. I feel so sorry for the children and the younger teachers. I'm counting the days and trying to enjoy what little time I have left with the kids. I'll miss the teaching part but teaching is no longer teaching. I don't know what it is but it is no longer considered a professional job by anyone anymore. I'm pulling my hair out trying to do what I feel I need to do to help each child the best I can. No help from higher ups. Only more and more added tasks to my job - none of which helps the children - only takes me away from the little planning time I have.
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I am feeling it!
Old 09-29-2011, 03:03 AM
 
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All of the same stress. We are on a new wonderful evaluation RTTT system. I have a student teacher. I am trying to create daily data collecting sheets for exit tickets for every tiny lesson. We have to make our data drive our teaching. Blooms, Blooms, Blooms questioning which need to be ready to ask for every tiny lesson. State/Core objectives posted. Meetings, meetings, meetings. Technology is a big deal. The students are young but I need to teach way above their level. I love teaching! I also love sanity!
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Singing the blues here too!
Old 09-29-2011, 06:09 AM
 
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Preach it everybody! After 33 years of teaching, I can say I have never worked harder or longer hours in my life! It is nothing to work a 55-60 hour work week, and still not feel like I am 'on top' of things! More and more is expected, and nothing is ever taken away. Our 'specials' classes used to be a time where we could run something off, do a little planning...But now, two have been taken away by team meetings and RTI meetings. Pile on new technology - using a smartboard, creating a website, differentiate for all students...it is all driving us to the breaking point! I don't know what the answer is. All I know is that we are underpaid and overworked and under appreciated! It is good for me to hear that many more feel the same way me and my colleagues feel!
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same here
Old 09-29-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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Sick and tired of everything. If I could just teach it would be a blessing and better for the kids. I feel like I am pulled every which way and it is all for nothing! If I thought I could find another job, I would consider it. At least I would get paid overtime!
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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So nice to know so many of us feel this pressure. (Misery loves company??) I am on another board and a few posters are always acting like it is the teacher's fault if things are difficult!Makes one not want to mention problems!! Well, we don't all teach in areas where things may be a bit different or less taxing. I still love my kids, but am not going to lie and say it isn't draining with so much of what PP have said. Thanks, PT posters for being honest!!
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:36 PM
 
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26 years on the job and could have written your post also. I about lost it today. Parents are totally clueless, so no wonder the kids are. We are now doing "office work" plus all the other things that have been added (that are not under our job description) and nothing is ever taken off our plate. I love the kids but teaching is becoming a nightmare!
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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I feel exactly the same way and have been teaching for 15 years. When I come home from work I am helping my own elementary aged children and feel overwhelmed again! I recently took the time to update my "emergency" lesson plans because I am thinking I will need lots of mental health days this year.
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37 years
Old 09-29-2011, 05:48 PM
 
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I could have written your post too! It hasn't been easy all these 37 years but I have loved it. I retire this year and others are saying aren't you slowing down? No, there isn't time for it! My weekends are spent with a visit to school to finish up some work or complete something. Not sure what life will be like soon. It's a bitter sweet.
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Work smarter not harder.
Old 09-29-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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Easy to say but hard to do. I've come to the realization that everything can't be perfect. This year I am checking math homework with the kids. I only put a check mark on spelling to show I looked at it. We have had 15 days of school and I haven't taught social studies or science yet and guess what...it's ok. We will get to it next week. I'm supposed to have benchmarks done by the end of Sept. The person who made the deadline isn't in the classroom! I will get them done when I can in a reasonable amount of time.

When I get home I work for an hour then put everything aside. We have to be realistic about what we can accomplish in a day and everyone else does to. Take time to breath and figure out how can it be done differently. Be ok with what you do!
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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Quote:
So after school I talked to the nurse and she said if we don't give this student her treatments on time mom will pull her out of school?
Why do parents like that think this is such a threat to us? I always think, "Oh please do."
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Raise your glasses....
Old 09-29-2011, 06:48 PM
 
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and let us toast one another for supporting one another! I was on the phone to one of my coworkers last night ranting over the same things that are being said on these boards. At 1:00 am, I was typing a letter to another teacher friend. I am very close to retirement and I have seen many changes in education. ...some wonderful and some downright stupid.

We all have our long lists of thing we are expected to get done asap "no exceptions", but I agree with the poster who said that she was going to have a fun Friday. I am going to follow her advice and my students are going to create an art project tomorrow afternoon (after required testing) and maybe even have a little longer recess!

HERE'S TO A RELAXING WEEKEND WITHOUT ANY PAPERWORK! (I can dream, can't I?.....interiums are due on Tuesday!)
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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You made me laugh! I always think the same thing!
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:53 PM
 
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Hi Everyone

22 years here - it's not fun anymore - my mental health day is tomorrow!!! So much to do at home that I don't get much rest .... Good thing the little bottles of wine come in a four pack - Monday .... Tuesday...... Wednesday..........Thursday! 30 weeks to go! lol
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Wow! I'm joining in...
Old 09-29-2011, 07:20 PM
 
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Although, I am at a year round school and love the fact that I get 3 weeks to recoop- but you know what that means? This girl is working on "school" work every single day of the year. Not to mention I have 3 kids of my own!! Parents are something else these days- we don't get treated like professionals and we work our behinds off way more than most professions. I have a big old nerd box (about 30 pounds of stuff), a stack on my table about 15 inches high, report cards, etc, etc.... to do. And I have not even touched my house. And don't get me started on "new ways" of teaching. If it works- don't mess with it people! Everything new is not always the best. I've only been teaching 11 years, but it has been a passion on mine. I am one of those "super" teachers- try to do everything. For the first time in my 11 years- I have considered becoming a Wal-mart greeter. Like someone posted earlier... atleast I'd get paid my 12 hrs + a day.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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This has been so supportive to read! I am currently in my 4th year and thought that maybe it was just that I hadn't been in teaching as long as others. I feel like this year, more than all others, is so stressful and I can't keep up. We have new curriculum guides in our school district and no one (including administrators) can get their stories straight on what we should be actually doing! We're told to do it one way then get yelled at as the superintendent does walk throughs for doing it the "wrong" way.

Parents aren't nearly as supportive as they were in the past - I'm beginning to believe that they believe teachers actually have NO idea what they are doing and don't even like children! Yes, parent, I went to school for 4 years, maxxed out my students loans, can't even go to the bathroom when I have to go, spend all day in a classroom with 20 children, am grossly underpaid and take hours of work home EVERY night because I do in fact hate children. Ugh! What ever happened to parents listening to the teacher and trusting what the teacher has to say? It doesn't help that our principal will throw any teacher under the bus when confronted by a parent. I'm so frustrated and actually really sad to see that my dream of being a teacher since I was 5 years old is not turning out the way I had hoped!

Thank you fellow proteachers for making me realize I'm not alone!
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Very important!
Old 09-30-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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One thing I have learned over the years is to not compare myself to my grade level partners! I work with an over achiever who stays until 8 or 9 every night...sometimes 10. I make it a point to never ask how far she is in math or reading. There is no way I can keep up with her and I don't want to. She has great ideas and I use what is reasonable (luckily we all share ideas).

Be yourself, do a good job, but don't ride on someone else's roller coaster.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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Yes, I wanted to say that so badly. If this is so important why doesn't the mom come and do it?
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Thank you!
Old 10-01-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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It's nice to know I'm not alone. Every year just gets harder and harder with more demands from administration and parents. They just don't realize how hard we work. Ever wonder what would happen if we only worked our contracted hours? People would just be amazed at how much extra time we are putting in.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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I think that everyone expects way too much of teachers. Most of us give 120% and there is always more to do....
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The beginning of the end
Old 10-02-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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Honestly I don't know what to do. I just began my career and I don't know if I can make it. Between the demands of administration, the behavior of the students, and the parents who do nothing but complain; I really don't know what to do. I like my job and I know that overall I'm good at what I do. I just don't know if I can do this long term. I'm ready to start a family and feel like I wouldn't have time to do so. I want a life outside of work. I'm already behind with testing and I just don't know how I'm going to get caught up. I'm glad that I'm not alone but I wish more people understood. It's amazing how administrators forgot they once were teachers too.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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I ditto everything everyone said. I'm 16 years in...only going to 20. My husband says, "I TOTALLY SUPPORT THAT!", as he sees how hard we work, that it gets more difficult each year, that the class is more challenging each year, and that parents reinforce learning less and less. This year's class is the worst ever: I have two deaf boys who refuse to work, 6 ADHD kids of which 5 are not medicated ("I want to treat it naturally", says one mom. Hmmm...her kid is NEVER absent and I know why!), and 2 kids who are already illustrating pix with guns). Add to that the incredible number of intensive kids - almost 1/2 of my class. And this isn't a low-income school! Sorry to rant...but I'm glad I had a posting where I could "let go". Thank you all for being there for each other.
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Ditto!
Old 10-02-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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All of the meetings, iii, RTI, data notebooks, testing and expectations laid at our feet is overwhelming! I love being with the children, but sometimes I find myself being an ogre because I don't have time to spend discussing topics they are interested in or spending too much time on anything because we have to get through the day. I spend every night working on paperwork at home that I couldn't complete during the day. After 18 years you would think I would be better organized. sigh, sometimes I feel as if I can't do it anymore, maybe I should find a different career.
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Place Value Poster Project
Old 10-02-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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I hear you about feeling 3 steps behind. Our school just switched to the core standards and new lesson plans. I was searching for a Place Value Poster Project that you posted. I was wondering if you have a rubric for it and if so if you could forward it to me at heather.brandt#stmichaellvt.org
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I'm in the same boat...
Old 10-03-2011, 03:40 PM
 
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It was just by chance that I came to this website. And, it was just by chance that I clicked on this post...(because it had a little star on it!) I, too, am a 22 year veteran teacher who has reached the end of her rope! However, you have all made me feel so much better! I thought it was just me!!! I thought I just don't have it anymore...now I see that we all have these demands on us! I do pray a lot about my job, and yes I sometimes have that glass of wine to unwind..and again, I'm grateful for all of you expressing your feelings...at least we're not all losing our minds! Lots of hugs going out there to all of you!
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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I posted earlier that I was feeling in the "same boat" - believe me, I am! This past weekend I spent ALL day Sunday preparing lesson plans for both first and second grades; homework packets for first and second grades; and grading papers. I literally did not go to bed until 11:30 that night. In between school work I washed laundry, staightened the house and did grocery shopping. I was exhausted. Furthermore, I was finally diagnosed last week with Lupus which explains the extreme fatigue I have been experiencing...therefore, I have decided to go back to doing what is reasonable and realistic. I have to give myself permission to relax and pace myself. Also, after reading all the posts I feel better supported and not as if I am doing something "wrong" and for that I want to thank everyone. I really love kids and teaching - I do not want to burn out.
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You are not alone....
Old 10-06-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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I thought this was only a thing I am feeling as a first year teacher!!! Being a single Mom living in a new area and just starting out I thought overwhelmed was just for us newbies.....
I see I am not alone and this is a common thing in our profession, that is just sad. Here we are doing our best and just starting to get our heads above the water when more is piled on , due last week of course, and down we go again. Huge Sigh ......
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
SoonToBeMrs.A's Message:
Easy to say but hard to do. I've come to the realization that everything can't be perfect. This year I am checking math homework with the kids. I only put a check mark on spelling to show I looked at it. We have had 15 days of school and I haven't taught social studies or science yet and guess what...it's ok. We will get to it next week. I'm supposed to have benchmarks done by the end of Sept. The person who made the deadline isn't in the classroom! I will get them done when I can in a reasonable amount of time.

When I get home I work for an hour then put everything aside. We have to be realistic about what we can accomplish in a day and everyone else does to. Take time to breath and figure out how can it be done differently. Be ok with what you do!
Love your response. I try to think like this as well. My number one priority in the classroom is to enjoy my students. That is why I chose this career.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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I have stopped spending my own money and did not do colored paper and border on boards. Walls have a few basics;that is it. I have let go of the "cute room" desire...following the lead of the male teachers at my school.I do not answer school email after contract hours and have learned to say no.
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I can be my own worst enemy
Old 10-15-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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I am determined to put myself first so I can take better care of my family and my students. And that means doing the best job I can, and trusting my judgement in knowing what is best for my students. I am extremely lucky to have a principal that trusts and supports me. This year my team cut way back on HW- we have our primary students do a math worksheet and read. That's it. Their word sort words are sent home each week with suggested games, and I input them on spelling city .com so they can practice them online. I collect their reading calendars that need to be initialed 4 times a week at the end of the month. I look over all the math HW, but do not usually return it. If I see a student is confused over a skill, I pull them aside and work on it. But since the checked papers usually end up staying in their backpacks forever, I cut out the middle man and bring them home to put in recycling since they are just worksheets. The work they do in class gets sent home. I still do too much, but at least the HW load is lessened for all. (Oh, to take care of myself, I run. I am a c25k graduate- yeah, me! )
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You are the best!
Old 10-16-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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I totally sympathize with all the posts. I have also been fighting through the pile of work I make for myself. We could make the classroom load a little easier for us, but the very people who visit this board are the people who believe in giving the best to their students. So congratulations to all here who are the best of the bunch, and please be sure to schedule time for yourselves too so the students of the future can have the gift of having you for their teacher.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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Omg. This is my 3rd year and I feel completely overwhelmed. I feel like I've found a home with you all. This is crazy. Chin up everyone. Hope it gets better for us all.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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Me too...I have at least 5 years to go and I have a hard time getting out of the bed in the mornings because I know more and more will be added in the name of testing, paperwork, etc. When do we get to say enough?
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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What are you going to do instead? I can't afford to quit working.
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At nobox
Old 11-17-2011, 05:38 PM
 
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"What are you going to do instead? I can't afford to quit working." I would love know the answer to this question as well. It's getting worse and worse. I love the kids and see the growth but I can't work under this pressure and stress.
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