Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What a day!

In the history of my career as a schoolteacher, there have been very few days when my job actually sent me into tears. Very few.

One was right in the throws of chemotherapy and I just didn't think that I could pull through another day of work, and the other one was today.

I've heard for serveral years now that the average time for teacher burnout is 5-7 years. I have no idea where that research comes from, but I've heard it on more than one occasion.

Well, after a day like today, I'm thinking they are right on target with that 5 year thing.

Teaching is unlike other jobs. Yes, it only takes place 10 months out of the year. Yes, we get home earlier in the evenings, but it is not all fun and games. I tried to explain it to Brian this evening. Well, once I got home. On my way home, I just called him and burst into tears as the stress of the day made it furiously out of my mouth.

Teaching has two components: teaching and an office job. And, they only give you time to do the teaching part. The only part that is supposed to be "seen" during the workday is the teaching part. But, there are all of these other "office" type tasks that must be completed, and there is simply not enough time in the day to complete them, if they are not to be done during the teaching day. Make sense? Probably not if you aren't a teacher.

I need a secretary. I don't mind the teaching part and I don't mind the office work, but I do mind getting paid a meager salary to do a job that cuts into my personal life.

So, from this day forward, I will do the job that I get paid to do - and no more. Brian gave me an ultimatum tonight. And, I'm so glad that he did. He said, "Do your best and work your hardest while you're there, and then stop when the pay stops." He is so wise, and I needed the reminder that they simply don't pay me enough to rob me of my personal time.

There. I feel better now.

9 comments:

k-stin said...

I'm a lurker, but I'm de-lurking to say--A. Men.

SG said...

Dear Sweet Lindsey, I am so sorry you have to experience this. You are a gifted teacher and they make ridiculously cruel extra work for teachers which doesn't amount to much more than nonsense. Sounds like wise advice from Brian but may be difficult to pull-off. I wish you could teach in a Christian school where you could actually teach and fully use your gifting. Love, A.Sandy

erinkern said...

Um....AAAAMMMMMEEEENNNNN!!! I made that rule for myself after year one, and it has made all the difference. I take home no grading, I leave the school right around the time my contracted day ends, and somehow my class gets through twice as much material as some of my coworkers' classes. The kids learn, we have fun, I don't hate my life, and the students come back in later years to let me know my methods worked. That's all I can ask for! ;) There is a reason we need those summer breaks...so we'll forget how stressful it can be, and they can lure us back for one more round! Ha! ;)

Hope tomorrow is better.

one of nettie's girls said...

I don't know how teachers do it-teach, motivate, control, manage, inspire, referee, etc. We need people like you, Lindsey, so hang in there. Take Brian and Erin's advice and keep your personal time for you.

Whitney said...

I have felt the same way in an old job I had. But I was treated like crud when I worked my fingers to the bone. It was a miserable 2 years and when I found the next job, Darin told me I was an entirely new person. I let it affect me THAT much and I absolutely hate that now. It just wasn't worth it. So, I know what you mean in a weird way.

Di said...

Hey Girl, I so wish I could follow that rule. But I feel so bad about turning people down when they need my help. :( and I feel like I'm grumbling about doing my job... but at the same time I resent that people tell me I'm not allowed to have a social life during the fall b/c of work. All this to say KUDOS on making the decision and I know you'll stick to it! I just love your determination.

Strange family said...

I know those the joys and frustrations of teaching first hand. Unlike you, however, I had many more days that I cried. I just want to encourage you to take it one day at a time and to focus on those kiddo's. I know you are an inspiration to them and a wonderful example. The Lord placed you in that room at this time for a reason. Just stick your tongue out at all the other "mess" and tell satan to get behind you!

Anonymous said...

I hope your week is getting better!
I have said before I don't know how you teachers can do it. I know our Lord will give you the strengh you need. Just by reading your blog I know your class is BLESSED by having YOU as their teacher!
Tressa :-)

Alison said...

Lindsey,
This must be weird getting a comment from someone as random as I am. I found your blog upon reading a friend of a friend's blog. ;) I read it often and draw so much encouragement from you. The past year God has been using you to uplift me daily. Thank you for being so obedient to Him. I am a first year teacher and today your blog was just what I needed. All day long I find myself wanting to be at home with my husband and to just be the wife I want to be. I am overwhelmed with the task at hand and I thank you for posting this! (Now to just figure out exactly HOW to manage my time in a way that will allow myself to be at home when 3:10 rolls around!) :)