The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 14 2013

I’m No Superman

Day 136: 

Well, I know what I’ve been told
You got to work to feed the soul
But I can’t do this all on my own
No I know, I’m no superman

-          Lazlo Bane, “Superman”

Friday was about what you’d expect for the day before you go on break. Nothing crazy happened, but it wasn’t our best day, either. I had 6D leave and re-enter the classroom because it was such a hot mess after lunch. I gave a speech about how I didn’t care it was the day before break, that we knew what to do and were going to do it right, but I can only imagine it was fairly clear that my heart wasn’t in it. I was cooked, and ready to leave.

Also, since they’d earned a reward, the second block of the double block was spent watching The Hunger Games. Real high-rigor stuff going on in my classroom, folks.

I live my life under the presumption that I’m capable of doing anything, at any time, sleep, exercise and sanity be damned. This winter and spring, I’ve been re-thinking that strategy. It can’t be right to always feel this tired. It can’t be right that I haven’t been on a run in two months, or seen the inside of my gym. It can’t be right that my “free time” from lesson planning is spent writing 10-page papers for my grad school course. It can’t be right that “cooking dinner” has looked more like eating cereal and peanut butter sandwiches.

This is the long way to say, I not only deserve this spring break, I desperately need it. My mind and body are fried. In the long run, the question of how to make teaching sustainable for teachers who naturally want to give their all for their kids and need to be protected from burnout fascinates me more than ever. In the medium term, I need a mentor next year who will help me find a better balance between work and my personal life. In the short term, I need to conjure up the energy to finish the year strong, and do that in a way that preserves my sanity. And in the shortest term, I think I need a nap.

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