I cried a lot my first year teaching. Every night for probably at least the first month I would come home from work, exhausted beyond belief, and sob on the floor of my shower. It was highly unpleasant but clearly I managed to make it through. It’s not even that I had it so bad, I have witnessed people who’ve had it worse than I did, but it was more that it was so completely overwhelming and I felt so utterly unprepared. The second year was leaps and bounds better, and it’s been little ups and downs since then.
This year has been a very odd mix of up and down so far. On the up side, I feel really good about my curriculum and the kinds of lessons I am planning. I’ve been blessed to have the same subject and grade for the past six years so I have a good sense of what has worked, what needs to be revamped, how to integrate my ideas more, yada yada yada. I am staying organized (no grading piling up so far, student binders are organized, classroom is clean, desk is clear!) and have even managed to get my process posters up for the kids already.
On the down side, all this organizing is taking loads of time and energy. I’ve been working constantly and still somehow managing to have a really active outside life on top of it. This is great except…I have not been getting enough sleep. Part of it is that I sometimes don’t get home until late (book club until 11pm one night, dinner with friends until 10 then next night, movies with the husband another night, you get the drift). The other part of it is that I can’s shut my brain off! Last night I was so tired that I got into bed at 9pm. I tossed and turned until 1am when I finally got up and made a list of all the junk floating around in my head in an effort to just clear it out. I don’t know how to shut it off…the seating chart changes, the ideas for activities in the new whole-class novel I’m starting next week, a new way to organize how students turn in those papers, don’t forget to make extra map copies and on and on and on it goes! I’ve tried meditating, relaxing, music, white noise, and honestly, nothing really works. I think I’m averaging 4-5 hours a night of sleep.
Today I came home from a very, very long day, got in the shower, and cried like it was my first year. I’m going to take an Ambien tonight and give my brain a break.