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September 07, 2005

Comments

dennis

man jess, you need a vacation.

Phil Nash

Sorry to hear things have been difficult. Hope they are better now.

Learning to disappoint people and continuing to live is a hard lesson for people like ourselves. You cannot get an A+ in life. You cannot please everyone all the time. In fact, if you are doing things right, you are challenging unjust authority and therefore making some pretty powerful people pretty mad.

It's ok to cry and to feel miserable. I have been pretty sad myself these days because the deaths in the Gulf are reminding me of my mom's death last November. I just started my day with an hour of listlessly reading the online news instead of the ten things I was supposed to be doing.

Life is not in the completion but in the process. Each day you must do a little more to build and live in the world you would have preferred to start life in. It's hard sometimes, so rally your friends together to get through the tough days, and savor the good days as they come along.

Rachel Meiklejohn

What Jess failed to mention is that she is doing an incredible job. As an observer in our class I have been blown away by what she is accomplishing. I watch her naturally interact and prod her students to challenge themselves. I listen to her talk animatedly about each student and the expecations she has for them and I find myself being stunned as I remember that she's only been doing this work for a matter of weeks.
Jess, you've entered into what I honestly believe is one of the toughest and most rewarding career paths out there. There really is nothing quite like teaching and you are going to be a phenomenal teacher. You know what you want your students to accomplish and are dedicated to making that happen. They know that you care about them and it shows.
I know you don't take me seriously when I say it, but take care of yourself first. There is only so long that anyone can continue to drive themselves at superhuman levels and your students deserve to have a teacher who is leading at least a somewhat balanced life and taking care of herself, even if it means that a stack of papers has to wait for another day.

Rachel Meiklejohn

What Jess failed to mention is that she is doing an incredible job. As an observer in her class I have been blown away by what she is accomplishing. I watch her naturally interact and prod her students to challenge themselves. I listen to her talk animatedly about each student and the expecations she has for them and I find myself being stunned as I remember that she's only been doing this work for a matter of weeks.
Jess, you've entered into what I honestly believe is one of the toughest and most rewarding career paths out there. There really is nothing quite like teaching and you are going to be a phenomenal teacher. You know what you want your students to accomplish and are dedicated to making that happen. They know that you care about them and it shows.
I know you don't take me seriously when I say it, but take care of yourself first. There is only so long that anyone can continue to drive themselves at superhuman levels and your students deserve to have a teacher who is leading at least a somewhat balanced life and taking care of herself, even if it means that a stack of papers has to wait for another day.

Mrs. J

Actually, vacuuming helps calm the soul :) Hang in there. You obviously have a lot to give those kids. There are good days and bad days and then there are days when you know exactly WHY you are a teacher and those days are a gift helping you go on. Having a supportive group of friends who are also teachers really helps! I really don't know how my studetns learned anything during my first year of teaching. Now, 30 years later, I have three books about teaching, incredible students and a deep abiding sense that I am exactly where I should be.

Waterfall

Ohhh my, I know just how you feel!! I am teaching five different subjects, which means five different lesson plans each day. And four of those subjects are English/writing, which means papers and papers and papers to grade. I thought I was going to lose it yesterday--thank God it was Friday. But I know what you mean about working 18 hours a day and still falling further and further behind. I still can't figure out how to work the grade book, much less enter grades. Three-week grades were due yesterday, but I didn't have 'em.

Every teacher at my school has their own classroom, except me, which means I live out of a backpack and a portable filing briefcase thing. Yesterday I left my briefcase at home (so much other stuff to carry) and had to turn around and go get it once I got to school. Aarrgghh!!

So, I can't really offer any words of advice, other than to hang in there. Sorry I just sort of rambled here in your comments, but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in this, and that there are some of us out there who are going through the same exact thing and can commiserate.

Strangely enough, I still like teaching. Guess I am a glutton for punishment.

Tim Fredrick

It will get better. I have gone through it myself and work with student teachers. It is part of your development as a teacher. Learn from it - but don't give up. http://timfredrick.myblogsite.com

debweave

It's not true that most secondary teachers only have one lesson plan to create for all classes. There are some who do, but they are the exception, not the rule. This year I have three plans to create, as do most of the people in our Comm Arts dept. Last year, I had four during 2nd semester. The only thing that made it bearable was trolling the web for online resources to use in class. I didn't have time to re-invent the wheel, and there are lots of great lesson plans out there. (Teachers of the world, I thank you!)

It is true that the amount of paperwork in any area of teaching is monumental. If all we had to do was teach, the job would be easier. In any event, though, it would never be easy.

RESPONSE:
Thanks Deb. That was written naively in my first year of teaching two years ago. =) As I work with so many general ed teachers, many of whom teach more than one subject, I definitely see how much work at the course level as well as daily lesson planning level there is! Keep up the inspiration!

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