Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What's Wrong With Me?

I wake up at 5:00 or 5:30 every morning. I work from 6:00 or 6:30 until my first class at 9:10. I work through my planning period (10:00-10:50). I work through lunch (on the rare days that I actually get lunch and don't have class or a parent-teacher conference). After school, I work for about two hours until I leave. If I have time, I'll drop into the gym for a half-hour for a walk or weights. Once I get home, I work from about 7:00 until 11:00 or 11:30. Then I repeat it all again the next day.

Of course, I work all through my classes--the actual "teaching" part of my teaching job.

That means I'm working about 16 hours a day. And it's not like I'm trying to go "above and beyond." I feel like I'm just barely doing the bare minimum. I've not once felt "caught up" since the first week of school last semester.

It's been like this since late August, with Christmas break being my only respite from the grindstone. I typically work 6-8 hours on Saturdays and 4-5 hours on Sundays.

What work is involved, you ask? All kinds of things. Grading papers. Writing tests. Reading the material that I'll be teaching. Planning the lessons. Making worksheets. Writing quizzes. Grading homework. Doing research online. Finding materials for science labs. Thinking. Finding things at the library. Checking out films before showing them to students. Writing assignments for projects, papers, etc. Tutoring. Meeting with students to go over their papers or explain a concept they didn't understand in class. Working out schedules to ensure that I'm not bombarded with essays to grade from more than one class at a time. Et cetera.

What am I doing wrong here? I am endlessly amazed at the fact that I actually find time to go to the bathroom.

It's 10:23 and I just finished grading a bunch of papers (4 hours). Haven't gotten around to grading all of the other turned-in homework yet (1 hour). Or planning tomorrow's classes (1-2 hours). Or writing tomorrow's peer-editing worksheet (15 minutes, thankfully). I literally have about three more hours of work to do before school starts tomorrow.

What's sick is that I don't dislike the job. I actually enjoy most of it. Love it, in fact. Really, truly love it. Love the work. Love my students. Love my school. Wouldn't want to be doing anything else.

I'm just so very tired all of the time. I don't know what to do--what corners to cut--in order to make more time for rest.

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