Sunday, January 27, 2013

I'm Not That Super Teacher: When Teaching Takes Its Toll!

My eyes are burning.
My blood pressure is high for the first time in 53 years.
My doctor swears that I have mild arthritis in my knees.

"Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound"

Nope, not me, I'm not that Super Teacher. 

I think it's all getting to me.

No, I am not quitting. Withstanding all the crap stuff that comes with the job, I still love teaching.

But, I wonder...

Do my eyes burn from all the paperwork I have to fill out? The research I do in order to make sure I am complying with Common Core?  Lesson plans? Grading endless papers? Compiling and studying data? And of course, Twitter chats, this blog, and all the articles I read regarding education? (Okay, this one is my fault)

Is my blood pressure high from trying to keep up with the demands that have been placed on me by the principal, the district, the state, the federal government? Dealing with children with an unwarranted sense of entitlement? Having to keep a tight leash on a class that could explode if I didn't snuff out the little things day after day? Parents who don't seem to think that they have a role in the education of their children? (Not all of them, but every year, the percentage of non supportive caretakers increases)My archenemy, Standardized Testing?(Which holds me hostage, accountable)

Is the arthritis from standing most of the day? (Can you get arthritis from standing most of the day?) Standing so that I can roam my room, and make sure everyone is engaged. Standing so that I don't become one of those teachers glued to the desk or my computer. Standing so that I can teach and learn with my students, and not at them.

I'm not that Super Teacher. 
I'm way slower than a speeding bullet
My strength is nowhere near comparable to a locomotive
And able to leap tall buildings, much less in a single bound? Ha!

These things that have become an integral part of who I am as an educator, may be taking a toll on my body. My hubby laughingly says I am falling apart.

Here's to hoping it's just old age, and not signs that I may have to give up what I love!:(


  1. As a person who has experienced some serious health challenges (leukemia) and a near-death experience, I have to say that the mind-body connection is FAR MORE REAL and POWERFUL than we have previously given it credit for.

    When I changed my mind about a few things going on in my life back in January 2010 (after being released from the hospital), my entire life took a dramatic turn for the better.

    Today, at age 59 I'm in the best physical shape of my life - including COMPLETE remission from leukemia. I tease my wife all the time that I'll still be chasing her around the house when I'm 100 years old - and I REALLY believe that.

    All because I decided to leave private teaching after a 40-year-career. I too realized that I just didn't have that magic or the caring anymore. My mind was more often focused on the negatives of my job - kids who didn't practice; parents who demanded miracles; competition with technology that did more so students didn't even have to master basic foundational skills...

    Yes, one I accepted that my best contributions in teaching private music were behind me, I was able to get my mental health back followed almost immediately by my physical health!

    For me, the mind-body connection is VERY REAL!

    All the best from Toronto,

    1. Hey Russ, I know it's real! It's funny, because I am not really a person who stresses. Guess I'm going through a phase.:)

  2. Hello from 3rd grade in North Carolina....I will be quoting you, "my archenemy, Standardized Testing...". You are so drives every decision in my small county!!! We too are navigating through the Common Core and it does require hours of study. We also must interpret the Core (this is the challenge) and then post our unit/lesson plans to Goggle Docs for ALL to see. It is frustrating.... I call my "entitled" students, "pampered". I have one who brings her own toilet paper (the paper in the bathroom "hurts her bottom")..... REALLY.....I have two students that can't seem to make it to school on time....their "tummies" hurt....PLEASE!!! third grade is BIG SCHOOL!!! Thanks for sharing...I look forward to you weekly posts....I am in my 33nd year in elementary school...find I enjoy mentoring young teachers....reminding them to "not sweat the small stuff""... Most will pass if you wait long enough. BLESS YOU!!!

    1. Thank you for being a faithful reader! 33 years! Congratulations!
      "Most will pass if you wait long enough!" That's especially true in education!

    2. Hey...look into yoga....been practicing it for years (once or twice weekly for an hour) it truly gets me through the stress...mentally and physically...I can tell the weeks I skip class. Find yourself a good instructor and then just GO...BLESS YOU!!!

  3. Girl, I'm only 35 and 4 years into teaching and feel like that (sans high blood pressure) from time to time. I love your blog and your honesty about the ins and outs of teaching. Thanks for putting it all our there!

  4. I've been teaching 12 years and I have had to go to the emergency room 5-6 years of the 12. I'm 35 and I want to see 40 years old. I definitely don't know how to do it all and there's always so much to do. I love teaching, but I am spread too thin. I have to face reality that I am not a miracle work, just a mere mortal who wishes she was more. I need better work boundaries.

    I have no idea how you have taught so long and just now developing these symptoms (maybe the earlier days were a bit better). Nevertheless, I love your blog and I wish you superb health. Please get the rest you need. You can't save the world if you're not here. Be a superhero by making you a priority (it's easier said than done obviously).

  5. Thank you Natashia! My cutoff on the computer is 9:30, but it is 10:00 pm. :) I promise to do better!