Saturday, November 16, 2013

So Tired

I'm not sure how long I can keep up this schedule.  I've been deliriously tired for several weeks, but this week was definitely the worst.  I think it's catching up and I know I won't last much longer at this pace. My typical day:

5:30 am Wake up, rush to get ready and out the door by 5:50 or 6:00.
               Technically if I leave at 6:00am I have a chance of being late (traffic), so my goal is to leave at  5:45am.  Which also means I was supposed to wake up earlier than 5:30am, but since I never get to bed before midnight it's impossible to want to get out of bed when you've only have 4-5 hours of sleep.

6:30 am Rush to get things ready for class (make copies, make sure any technology stuff is actually
        working, etc.)

7:00-12:00 on A-days I am teaching, then I have a planning period.  On B-days my planning period is in the middle of the day.  By the time I get to my planning period my desk is a disaster and I end up spending my planning period trying to reorganize, grade papers, and (best case scenario) plan for the next day.

2:05pm  School gets out.  Ellie goes to daycare two minutes from my school, and I have to pick her up by 3:30 or else we have to pay extra for after school care.  So I use this hour after school to grade papers and plan.  But I'm also exhausted so it's incredibly hard to focus.

      Oh and did I mention that in my rush to get out the door in the morning I never remember to bring my lunch, or coffee (unless Nick happens to be awake and makes it for me) or even a bottle of water.  So by the end of the school day I'm starving and exhausted.  I have tried to prep everything so it's easy to pack a lunch.  And I've tried packing it the night before, but, again, this week was particularly hectic.

3:30pm  I pick up Ellie and go home.  Except for Tuesdays (when I have my graduate classes), Nick is at work.  So I play with Ellie, make dinner, give her a bath and put her to bed.

8:00pm  By this point Ellie is in bed, but may not be asleep.  From 8pm-midnight I am working on either papers/reading for my graduate classes or I am frantically trying to write lesson plans for the next day.  I'm finding it extremely difficult to come up with lesson plans that are actually engaging, and last for 90 minutes.

     It's currently 3pm on a Saturday and, if left to my own devices, I would be asleep right now.  I would have stayed asleep all day.  I realize I could get someone to babysit Ellie and get a bunch of work done, but I don't think that's fair.  I barely get to see her all week and now my job and my graduate classes are depriving me of weekend time with her.  And I realize there is a holiday coming up soon, and that after Thanksgiving there won't be that many weeks before the semester is over.  That should be comforting, except it's not.  I have no idea if my students are really grasping what I'm trying to teach.  I constantly ask if they need me to clarify something and no one ever says anything.  So if they're confused, they aren't telling me.  Their work is a mixed bag.  Some of these kids are really bright and some have turned in complete crap and don't even care that they'll get a bad grade.

     On top of this, next semester I get an entirely new set of students.  On one hand that's great because I get a fresh start with them.  However, I don't know that I can use a single lesson plan I wrote for this semester.  I wrote them in such a rush, and I don't think they're very good.  Plus, I didn't get to cover very much material this semester, and next semester I have to cover as much as possible.  So my Christmas Break isn't a break at all.  My Thanksgiving Break isn't a break either.

     And it's not just the work for my job, it's the work for my graduate classes.  I have a research paper that was due last week that I still haven't finished, and I have two more that are due this week.  I have literally no idea when I will find the time to do them.  And it isn't just a matter of time, it's a matter of being able to clear my mind enough to focus and write something that makes even the slightest sense.  I'm at that desperate point where I don't care what the grade is, I just need to turn something in so I can check it off my list.

     I can't keep up this pace.  Everything about this job and this level of stress makes me want to just retreat back to my house and never come out.  I just want to sleep.  But instead I get to make another pot of coffee and write a paper tonight.  Then tomorrow I get to make countless more pots of coffee and write lesson plans.  Then on Monday I get to start my morning and my week with my worst behaved class.  I need there to be a light at the end of the tunnel, but right now I can't see it.


Sleep Goblin said...

So as you know, Rob is a professor. His first semester he taught two different classes, was setting up his research group, writing research proposals to try to get grant money to fund said research group, do research himself, and also going to conferences. He didn't have much of the first semester planned out at all, so he was also writing lectures the day before. The second time he taught those classes, he also felt the need to rewrite most of them. It's super hard getting started with teaching I think. This semester hasn't had the lecture writing part quite so much, but there's been even more proposal writing and traveling for conferences, and of course now there's the kids and the house. I used to long for the spring semester because he didn't teach classes and I actually saw him some, but they've changed his schedule this year so it will still be busy busy busy.

He also worried all the time about the students never saying anything in class, and then he'd randomly get good reviews when they did their teacher evaluations (and there are always bad ones, because you can't please everyone; not necessarily because you're bad teacher). It definitely gets better though. I think the first 2 years were the hardest, and now he seems to be finding a bit of a rhythm. If the proposal thing would just take off, I think he'd feel pretty good about the whole thing.

Jessi said...

Aw, sweetie. I am thinking of you. I don't have any wonderful words of wisdom, except that it will get better. Maybe not as soon as you would like, but it will. Someday, you'll have this down and you could teach this class in your sleep. Just keep on keeping on and take long hot baths when Ellie's asleep.