Burnt Out

My doctor told me to try and eat 6 small meals during the day. I can’t even sit 6 times a day, let alone remember to eat.

I am starting to question my career as a teacher. Isn’t that terrible? After 10 years I am beginning to dread the walk down the hallway to my classroom, I dread staff meetings and I am losing my connection with my students. My job satisfaction is at an all time low and I feel burnt out. Are there any other teachers out there that have felt this way and overcome the throb of discontent? How can I possibly make it another 15 years? Where do I look to find that spark?

I am tired of being misunderstood and under-appreciated (I actually had a student say she hated me under her breath the other day, and that NEVER happens to me…ever) I am tired of thinking that education is headed down the shitter and I am just along for the ride. I am tired of fearing I will be laid off because of budget cuts and the lack of community support of education.

No one takes into consideration that I take on the confessions of the suicidal teens, run 2 after school clubs (without pay), fight for the equality of all my students, take on the special education students without assistance, facilitate my students entering  and winning contests, participate in community projects, serve on the committee for underachieving and at-risk students, give up my plans to conduct independent studies and carry the whole department on my shoulders.

Eat? Who has time to eat?

Today I had yogurt and blueberries, half of a protein bar, an apple and MCB snack attack and dinner. Is 4 our of 6 good enough? I took my metformin yesterday and tried to drink more water today.

 

(I teach art, this is a project we did last year. Can you believe they didn’t like this one? I can’t win!)

 

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2 thoughts on “Burnt Out

  1. While reading this entry, I felt as if I was reading my own writing. I am also a teacher. I am about to embark on my 6th year at a high-risk, low income high school in the inner-city. I was also diagnosed with PCOS a year ago. My Dr. believes my PCOS is largely based on stress. Well, stress may not be the cause, but the stress is a large factor in all of the failed chlomid cycles I have gone through! As a result my husband has been pushing me to quit my job, and I have to say, I don’t really want to fight it anymore. I have started to dream of a job that I get to go into at 9, sort through some papers at a desk all day, come home at 5 and not have to think about my job for the rest of the evening. Teachers are used and abused and for what? Financial obstacles and health issues? I don’t have the answers, but I wanted you to know that this post struck a chord. I love your blog, I use your recipes, so thank you for all that you do. I don’t know how with your job that you are able to keep up with this blog, but I appreciate your effort! As a fellow teacher I have an enormous amount of respect for you and what you do. I know how hard it can be and how defeated you can feel sometimes. Or how now matter what you do, your family, friends and health always seem to end up on the back burner, with teaching up front and center. It’s a difficult lifestyle to manage, a balance I have yet to acheive. Good luck figuring it all out. I will be doing the same! Thanks again for your great recipes!

    • Wow, thank you so much for the wonderful comment. It really means a lot to me. Sometimes I write and I wonder if I am helping anyone, or if it is just a futile exercise.

      I am so sorry to hear that you are having trouble with stress, PCOS and infertility. It is a vicious cycle.

      If I were to offer any advice I would encourage you to leave school at school, both mentally and physically. I have a set time that I leave the building, even if I have grading, cleaning or planning to do. When I do arrive at home I try not to check my school email, or grade, or worry about tomorrow. I foster mindful letting go, not holding on so tightly to the past and future. Focusing on the now. When I am home I am Kate, and Kate likes to make healthy food, and go for walks, and read books and sew, and take care of her budding family. Teaching can consume you if you let it.

      What are you tightly holding on to? Why? And what would happen if you let it go?

      While on maternity leave I found my spark, I found my passion again. I missed those kids so much! I missed their input and jokes and kindness. I missed their problems and self-esteem issues. I missed the feeling of going out into the world and making a difference, even if it was just going out of my way to give a compliment to a kid who needed it. That is why I teach, that is why I get up in the morning and go to work.

      Sending you my warmest thoughts….

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