The Beleaguered Teacher


Beleaguered Teacher

It’s October…the month I have dreaded every year since that very first year of teaching! The papers are piling up. Parent-teacher conferences are looming. The first report card is about to be sent out,  AND I’M BURIED WITH WORK.

I have decided that there is no worse month than October for the weight of the workload, the stress, and the demands on my professional and personal time. It was during October of my first year of teaching that I decided that there was no way  I could keep this pace up for 30+ years. Well, who knew? Here I am, still going at it after 34 years in education.

How have I done it? By keeping these things in mind:

  • By the end of October, many difficult “firsts” are over--the first report card, conferences, and first emotional “crash and burn”
  • The grade book is filled out and students adding and dropping classes (especially in high school) is slowing down.
  • There is usually a Columbus Day holiday on my calendar.
  • Routines have been established.
  • I know the students’ names and have a pretty good idea of their abilities.
  • I’m no longer getting used to the new wake up and bedtime routines.
  • The holidays are looming and provide something to look forward to.
  • The students are falling into their own routines and classroom management gets easier.

So, if you’re one of those “beleaguered” teachers right now, take heart!  Once November rolls around, things start looking up and before you know it, winter break will be upon you.  Once you’ve made it through October, it just doesn’t get much worse!  Hang on!

In the meantime:

  • Use a personal day if you must, just to dig out from all the paperwork
  • Choose a weekend day and spend it doing what YOU want to do.  Let the papers sit for 24 hours.
  • Plan a day with your students that is not only a fun day,  but is also educational.  It gives you time to build relationships and learn at the same time.  Don’t make it extravagant, however, or you add a boatload of other troubles.
  • Get your hair or nails done.
  • Spend an afternoon decorating your home for fall.
  • Put your pajamas on when you get home from school and do NO school work.  It’s worth it!

Write to me and tell me some things you’ve done to help you get through October, and I’ll post them here in the future!