Stress [en]

A few lines on the stressful life of an apprentice-teacher. Don’t tell me we don’t deserve our holidays. Ever. Again.

[fr] Un petit aperçu du stress de l'enseignant. Et qu'on ne vienne pas me dire qu'on se la coule douce, qu'on est trop payés, et qu'on ne mérite pas nos vacances.

I’ve been thinking a lot about stress this week. I’m pretty stressed these days. I didn’t feel the stress much before the autumn holidays. I just felt very tired. Now I’m much less tired, and much more stressed.

Even though my sources of stress are multiple (private and professional, emotional and simply the sheer amount of work to do) it translates into a permanent background of “thinking of my pupils.” I just can’t get them out of my head. I go to sleep thinking of them, I wake up in the morning dreaming of them, I worry about them during the day, and even when I try to relax, they just won’t leave me alone. I’m usually pretty good at “blanking out” and thinking of “nothing”, but it just doesn’t work anymore nowadays.

It doesn’t help that I don’t have much time to do non-school things. Most of the time I have out of school is spent correcting and marking tests, preparing tests and classes, or discussing various school issues (relational or directly educational) with various people (some of whom must really be sick of hearing about all this stuff by now). Oh, and sleeping. Did I meantion dreaming about school? To put it shortly, I’m finding it hard to unwind.

However, even though I’m having a hard (sometimes rough) time, I’m confident that I’m doing what is necessary to improve the situation, and that I’m handling it as best I can. I am surrounded by competent and helpful people, and that helps a lot. It won’t last forever, and things are under control.

Just don’t tell me that teachers do nothing but sit on their arse all day waiting for their undeservedly long holidays, and go on “strike” because they think they’re not being paid enough. It pisses me off ever so slightly.

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A Brief Update [en]

A very brief summary of my first four weeks of teaching. Tired, difficult, but I’m OK.

[fr] Un très bref état des lieux après quatre semaines d'enseignement. Fatiguée mais vivante. Vacances d'automne en vue. Pas beaucoup de temps ni d'énergie pour le weblog ou ma vie sociale.

I’ve started teaching. Four weeks have gone by already. I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally, and looking forward to the time when everything will be running smoother.

I’m finding it harder than expected. Teenagers (13-14) aren’t easy, and as all my colleagues have told me, the first year is always tough. No exception for me.

It’s a new experience for me to be teaching English and French. I’ve had to lower my expectations a lot, and I expect to lower them yet more. I’m flabbergasted at how much difficulty many pupils have at following simple instructions.

We’ve started a weblog project, as I mentioned previously, and it seems to be starting off not too badly. This gave me a chance to have a peek at the non-school weblogs a few of the pupils have set up on — I doubt many of the parents are aware of what their children are posting online (lots of photographs, personal information, and sometimes also sexually explicit stuff).

I haven’t been having much social life lately, and I feel drained enough that I don’t have much to write here. I’m OK though, no need for concern. Things will start falling into place (I’m already used to getting up at 5:45 every morning), I’ll soon be a bit less tired and emotionally stressed, and more visible to those (online or offline) around me. Three weeks to go until autumn holidays.

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