Saturday, May 19, 2012

For the teachers out there....

I teach. Some of the high school students I teach give me (and everybody else) a good run for my money. This morning I was thinking about why so many teachers burn out. I, personally, am not burned out. ...not by any stretch of the imagination. I actually enjoy what I do, but I am, of course, looking forward to the end of the school year because who doesn't love vacation?

So back to the burn out. The thing about teaching is that, as far as students go, you get what you get. Some will be easier than others. Some students will consistently buck every one of your systems, directives, and desires. That overwhelmed condition known as burn out can easily be caused by a teacher's belief that he or she can (metaphorically) whip kids into shape. During the course of my career, I've seen teachers' veins bulge out of their necks and foreheads, cry in the restroom, and plead with administrators.

I'm here to say, you have to know what is possible and what is not. You should learn as much about classroom management as you possibly can because that is what will ultimately save your hide. You should get to know the students as well as you can (which is largely dependent on the size of your classes) in order to target your strategies appropriately. Of course you should know your subject areas so your lessons aren't so boring or disjointed that you deserve to be given a hard time. Those are basically the tools of the trade.

So, if you have your tools, and you use them wisely, know that you still won't get all the students to do exactly what you have in mind, and no amount of stress and strain will make it happen. Students are people too, and they have personalities and goals and sometimes what you're selling isn't exactly what they want on their plates. There are days that I actually laugh out loud at how incorrigible a particular student has proven to be. Sometimes it's a whole handful of incorrigibles who sort of band together as a sort of anti-class posse. Because that's just how life is, and that's how school is.

Soooo... recognize when you are doing your very best, then cut yourself enough slack that you can actually enjoy your work.

And for teachers who are mothers, you have to realize that most of your little darlings aren't always little darlings, so they sure don't miraculously change into them once they're in the classroom.

So know your trade, do your absolute best without working yourself into a stupor, keep a sense of humor, and move on......

1 comment:

What are your thoughts? I look forward to hearing from you.