Tuesday, April 10, 2012


at Two Writing Teachers!
Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed.  Spring Break is a distant memory and Easter celebrations with family turned a long weekend into a short weekend.  I glanced through the slices already posted today and yearned to be some of you who are just now starting or finishing your Spring Break!  Mine already feels as long ago as Christmas.

The normal busy-ness of school has been kicked up several notches in pure it's-almost-the-end-of-the-year-but-not-quite-yet fury.  Close enough to state testing for everyone to start passing around contagious stress, close enough to the end of the year for class time to start being interrupted and eaten away by a million little end-of-year assemblies and events, but not close enough yet to feel like it's just one last big push until we all get to relax.

Not to mention, traveling between rooms makes me feel like I'm running around all day like a chicken with its head cut off. Pack up the cart, roll to the next room, madly run around setting up supplies and passing out papers while answering questions from three different students who want to talk to me while I'm trying to get the class started on their first activity, put away first activity, move on to the rest of the lesson which can finally run like a normal class until it's almost over and I have to clean things up again, pack up the cart while dealing with kids who have something to tell me after class, speed off down the hallway.... and do it all again!  And again.  My head is spinning by the time I finish a couple back-to-back classes!

It's infinitely harder to help students, ask students about missing work, check in with students who need to do retakes and redos, etc. when I have to run around setting up and putting away everything in the midst of the lesson instead of before and after.  I have so many extra little things to do that some days I just look right past the five different sticky notes on my clipboard reminding me to collect missing work and check in with kids.  Plus, I don't get a second between classes to clear my head, take a deep breath, glance at my lesson plans, or remind myself to chat with so-and-so about that assignment, because I'm scurrying off down the hallway with my pieces of my brain bouncing along behind me (or so it feels).

I don't mean to complain.  After all, I am an Outstanding Cart Ninja and I really love my job. (Most days...)  It's just an extra dose of exhaustion and stress that's not there when I have a room.  It's frustrating to not be able to use routines and procedures that would benefit my students simply because there's physically no way to implement them. It's devastating to feel like I'm not the best teacher I could be, that I'm not as free to spend all my instructional time closely helping students, that I'm failing to support my retake/redo/make-up/missing assignment/absent students as much as I could.

Did you ever watch Saved by the Bell?  I totally need that magical ability that Zack had where he could say "FREEZE!" and everyone around him would just stop so he could reflect, fix things, plan his actions, or whatever he needed to do.

Or I need to become less of a perfectionist.  I think I have a better chance yelling "FREEZE!"


  1. I can hear your frustration loud and clear. This is so not the optimal condition for learning. On the bright side, you won't have to face this next year. :-)
    I love the image you have implanted of your brain bouncing along behind you. I hope things get better, but I won't hold my breath.

  2. I hear you about the perfectionism part--I wish I could develop the "freeze" power as well! Good luck keeping it all together until the end of the year--you can do it! :)

  3. What a great reflection on a problem many of us who travel from room to room face - we are very busy! I too wish I could call up the FREEZE button at times. I think it helps that I have let SOME of my perfectionism go!

  4. I'm hearing 'perfectionist', but also "tired teacher". Your days do not sound great, Jennifer, running around like you do. I think your school needs to give you a few more minutes between classes, or solve the problem in some other way. But-next year is a different story, so look forward to it! About this time, everyone is bit weary, etc. I too feel my break was YEARS AGO! Best wishes!


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