Can I just say that teacher stress is no joke?
Oh my gosh! So my stress level as I get closer to our state testing is through the roof. I feel like I am now under so much stress. Let me explain before you just to think I’m crazy.
So as a teacher you have many different hats you wear, right? The hats are you wear are:
- expert storyteller
- field trip organizer
- IEP Creator
- IEP Enforcer
- Lawsuit avoider
- Rule abider
- Standards modifier
- behavior monitor
- Award Winning positive role model
- Setting the stage to engage creator
- and so much more!
All while shuffling around 55 plates.
You have the most deadlines that could possibly ever come in your life. You need to have your RRR done by a certain day. You need to make sure they are graded and put in by a certain date or time. You need to make sure that you have your IEP meetings all scheduled and taken care of. All of your IEP‘s are being held up and applied. If you don’t follow that IEP to a T, guess what then you have a lawsuit on your hands.
On top of that did you also remember those 504‘s and those EP’s you have to do? Did you remember that you have to turn in paperwork prior to your IEP? Did you remember that you are required to respond to parent emails in 24 hours! And if you don’t you will hear about it… Trust me you’ll hear about it. Did you also remember to make sure that your students are happy? Because if you didn’t guess what, their parents are going to calling you and letting you know that they are not happy. Want me to add even more cream to the crop? You also have to make sure that all students are happy with everyone in the classroom because guess what, your parents will hear about it. You also have to make sure your students are learning… got to make those gains! You also have to make sure that you are keeping your kids engaged… #AreYouSerious #I’mcompetingwithvideogames.
Did you ever even think that you need to write that IEP today so it’s ready for tomorrow? Did you think that what your kids saw at home will be coming to your classroom? Because it will and it will come right back to you. On top of that they want to know everything that they possibly can about you. They want to know every single thing that you do while you are not at school. How many of you tell your kids that you live at school? Because I do.
Do you even think that the amount of stress that a teacher has is less than a normal job? Do we get summers off? Yes. Do we deserve every second of it? Absolutely. Do you teach 24 kids every day? Do you have to make sure they learn everything within a 4 and a half hour day over 180 days? Don’t forget that in between there we have to have recess while making sure there are no broken bones. Do you have to make sure every SINGLE thing you do is done properly because if you don’t your scores will suck. Also, your test score is based off of how well you taught last year. Forget the fact that you had kids melting down each and every day. Forget the fact that you lost hours upon hours in fire drills, code red, code blue, tornado drills, picture day, retake of pictures for picture day, class pictures, an author visit, and so much more. It doesn’t matter because honestly when it comes to the end of the year you MUST still have your kids perform on a state test and they must do well enough for you to receive a 1% raise. Also, I don’t want to be the one to tell you this but you will get paid like crap. You are one of the lowest paying jobs but you are expected to teacher America’s (or whatever country you are in) future.
But did you ever stop to think why do we do this? This job is not a quick job like you can go and wake up in the morning to do it because I’d love to see somebody try.
We as teachers have an important job. We have to make sure that every day counts. That every moment counts. We make sure that when you walk in the classroom you feel loved. That you feel like you have a place in this world. Because you do… It’s in our classroom. Please do not assume that in our classroom that everything falls in place. We bought all of those decorations. We bought all those cute tables to encourage students either work at a small group table or work at a standing table. You need to spend your own money to make your classroom perfect. And let me add that stress right now about the Pinterest perfect classroom don’t do it, all right, it’s not worth it. It’s not even something you should consider because you know what’s the most important piece is that you love your kids.
And there are going to be days that you won’t like them…no no no… you won’t. You can’t because just like you don’t like your friends or siblings during certain moments of your life, you won’t like them but this moment. I don’t like your attitude that kind of moment is the one that you don’t want. It does not mean that you don’t love them. I made it a priority to tell me kids that I still love them even if they made a mistake. Those kids spent majority of the year with you and they are learning the learning from you. You owe it to them to teach them how to be proper human beings as well. They’re learning how to pick up positive behaviors and negative behaviors from you.
Is there even more stress that I am not remembering? Yeaup.
But you have to remember that the most important piece of being a teacher is it’s kind of like a puzzle.
The puzzle piece that some days the pieces will fit… And some days you cannot figure out how to get the put back together again.
Your classroom is your safe haven. Some days that safe haven will be destroyed and you will feel insecure and it’s okay. Just get your bag and walk out. Don’t take your work home with you. Know that it will be there tomorrow. Some days you will cry. You will want to throw something…or three. That’s okay. It’s normal. You have one of the most stressful jobs in the entire world. You are taking the future of the world and training them how to be proper human beings. If that part alone isn’t stressful, I don’t know what is.
When your classroom gets tough, take a breath. You are not alone. You have an entire squad of teachers that have been in the exact same place as you. That have cried to their teacher neighbor, that have looked for jobs elsewhere, that have wanted to quit, that have cried to their principal, that have complained about their students, that have been upset about a parent interaction, that have gotten in a fight with a fellow teacher.
You are human.
You are allowed to be stressed. You just need to know how to handle it. I am not here today to sell you anything. I am here to tell you that you are not alone. You have one of the greatest jobs in the entire world and you, my dear, are not alone in this crazy stressful profession. You are loved. You are cherished. You are an educator.
Go change the world.
I (genuinely) would love to hear your thoughts on this so either leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
hugs & high-five,