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Diedre
 
 
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Exhausted- I spend too much time at work!
Old 06-08-2016, 02:55 AM
 
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Just a question. I have been teaching K for 18 years- I will be 61 in June. I know I am tired because it is the end of the year. Lately, I am feeling SO exhausted by the amount of work and energy needed for this job. I do enjoy it, love the kids- but I am a perfectionist- and am thinking this may be the wrong job for me. I am always the last one at school- everything has to be perfect. I spend endless hours working- even though I have done this so long. Also- it takes a lot of patience and sometimes I feel I am running out of that. How many hours do others put in as a K teacher? I feel that my job is my life- and I do not have a good balance- and what is the point if you are always exhausted. I can't retire yet- my husband is sick and I make decent money. Also, one of my colleagues is constantly making offhand comments about how fussy I am- as if it is a character flaw- and it is starting to annoy me. I just like to do things my own way in my classroom. Any suggestions for making things better? Is anyone else feeling this way?


 

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Old 06-08-2016, 02:20 PM
 
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You are a Type A person, obviously. I am a Type B person, and I go with the flow more easily than my husband and my team teacher, who are both Type A's like you.

I try to help my team teacher to find some balance. I try to work smarter, not harder and the two of us try to work together to lighten the load. I get to school early (about an hour early) and try to leave within 1 1/2 hours of the students dismissal. I do some things at home, but I've tried to cut back on that, too.

Our principal allows us to do a detailed Year-at-a-Glance plan that includes Can-Do statements and standards in lieu of weekly lesson plans. My friend and I have started using some excellent year-long units from TpT for our reading and math.

Remember, perfection is impossible, so be easy on yourself. You are a better teacher when you aren't so exhausted. I know that is easier said than done! Hugs!
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:00 PM
 
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You sound a lot like me! I would arrive at work at 7:15 (students arrived at 8:15) and left around a 5:00 or 5:30 (later on Fridays). I would also work at home for a few hours each evening. Some of us are just wired that way. I was always very productive during my planning times so it wasn't like I was wasting time. I "semi-retired" this year and still find myself working on school-related materials much of the day. Not sure how to suggest to make this better. We are who we are...
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Old 06-08-2016, 05:10 PM
 
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I think exhaustion is magnified at this time of year, but it does sound like you are working yourself very hard! Not a flaw for sure, but also a good way to burn yourself out.

If I were in your shoes I would take the summer to really reflect on your teaching practices, and find the things that you can change so that they don't require so much from you. My goal is always to make my day easier with routines and systems that don't sacrifice the meat of what we are doing. For example, this year I decided to implement a math center system of sorts (not really centers, but a tweak on them that works well for me). I found that doing the centers every day filled 15-20 minutes of my math block in a fun and very productive way, while cutting down my prep needs for that time by 90% (I only had to change out the centers once every unit, so every 3-4 weeks). Incorporating routines like that sometimes take some work on the front end, but pay off big time during the year.

As for wanting perfection, you can't change who you are. But again, maybe choose only one area to be "perfect" and be okay with letting the rest be not so perfect next year. Give yourself some grace, and remember you are working with 5 year olds which automatically means nothing can be perfect!

You asked how many hours others put in. I am usually forced to leave on time during the week (maybe 30 minutes - 60 max - after the kids leave) because I have to get my own kids places, but it's not unheard of for me to spend 4-5 hours on the weekend. I could easily spend 3 or 4 hours after school every day if I was free, but I also know that it would not be healthy or productive for me to do so, so it's kind of a blessing that I'm forced to leave.

Enjoy your summer! It sounds like you need the rest and break. Try to turn off your school brain for a while and just give yourself the mental relaxation you need.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:50 PM
 
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I'm one of those work log hours teachers too. There are 3 of us "older teachers" left in the building and we decided that we like to be innovative and creative which often takes more time than following a script...not that there is anything wrong with following the teachers editions verbatim, we just dont like teaching from a script.

maybe this is what you are doing. I have teenagers and limit my time to weekdays now. I tend to go in 20-30 minUtes before we are required and force myself to leave most days within 45-60 minutes after my contract time. I often don't make it, but that is my goal!


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I'm right in the same boat as you
Old 06-10-2016, 07:55 PM
 
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I have been teaching for a long time, but this year has been the worst as far as devoting all of my freetime to Kinder work. Part of it is that I have had a very demanding Principal with high expectations, and the other part is that I had changed schools, so everything was new (sort of) to me! I spend a good deal of time catching up on sleep over the weekends! I keep telling myself that next year I am only going to allow myself one late night at school a week and the rest I will have to leave by 4:30. I am really going to try to keep to this goal as much as possible now that I know the curriculum and the culture of this school. Angela Watson has a book about this.
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This is my life!
Old 06-30-2016, 06:30 PM
 
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I feel your pain! I am 62 and feeling exhausted! I think our age does have something to do with it even though I am in good health. Like you, I cannot retire as my husband is unable to work. I work in a very difficult school (Title 1) with a demanding principal and administrators. I love the kids but there is so much paperwork. Data binders, data walls in rooms and hallways, no para, no nap, large classes. I also want things done to perfection. I also like a clean and orderly room. I even do a lot of my own graphic designs, worksheets and assessments. We have Smartboards so I spend a lot of time creating effective interactive lessons. We have to write very detailed lesson plans. During the school year my entire weekend is devoted to school work. We also are required to turn in parent contact logs. There is even more but I won't bore you with the details. I have tried to change schools but the powers that be will never allow that. I can't go out of my school system because of the distance.
 

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