Teaching can be such a burn-out job. So much is expected of us. And if we don’t prepare adequately, we face the consequences the next day!
Haven’t we all heard, “Oh it must be nice to go home at 3 and have summers off!” The general public has no idea what we really do! I often tell those misguided souls, “When you go to the theater, do you think the actors just walked on stage the same time you took your seat? When do you think they rehearsed? When was the set built? When were the music, the costumes, the props gathered? Teaching is like an interactive theater production. It changes with each audience and you can never repeat the exact same show twice.”
Given the demands of the profession, how do we endure and thrive? I think it requires several things. I think we need to give careful attention to self care (eating well, exercise, getting enough sleep). But we also need to give careful attention to our job. This means being strategic about how we spend our time and maintaining our professionalism. Lastly we need to draw some limits. This job is like a hungry monster that will happily gobble up your whole life if you let it. Working weekends, correcting papers in bed, taking calls from parents at home… where does it stop!?
Each of us must craft our own plan for staying happy and healthy in the profession. Our home, our family situation, our natural rhythms and preferences will all determine the details. But we each need a plan to resist the hungry teaching monster or we will join the legions of ex-teachers that tried this job and then gave up because it was too hard, too time consuming, too much.
In The Beyond BTSA Boot Camp we address these issues directly. We develop a plan for self care. We learn ways to get organized so we don’t waste our effort. We learn how to make our classroom volunteers really useful and then delegate work to them. We look at ways to use our time strategically so each activity we do with our students is designed to save us time later. If you’d like to take this deep view of your work, join us this summer for The Beyond BTSA Boot Camp and really enjoy this school year!