Are You Exhausted? Seven Signs You Know You’re “Teacher-Tired”

These are actual things I have done this week. The week after a long vacation. Guess that week with my daughters wasn’t that restful. Guess this week going back to school reminded me how complex the teaching profession is, and how hard my brain is working.

And no, I don’t think it’s just me.

Here are seven “oops” moments from this week alone.

  1. Forgetting a friend’s name. I go to weekly women’s futsal games at the local school gym. We always have low numbers and wonder if we’ll have enough to play a good game. This week I asked, “Who’s coming?” my friend Bree said, “We have 5 here and Kathleen is also coming.” I searched my brain for a Kathleen. Nope, didn’t remember that name. “Who’s Kathleen?” I asked Bree. Bree looked at me and said, “You know, so-and-so’s mom.” I suddenly realized who Kathleen was! She’s a fellow mom whose son is also in first grade! I met three or four years ago, and see her often around town. She volunteered to take my kids pictures during COVID and also helped coach their soccer practice when they were in kindergarten. I have seen her at least a dozen times at town events- she’s someone who is quite remarkable and someone I shouldn’t forget!
  2. Leaving a glue gun plugged in and forgetting about it. I am doing a crafting class. We sew felt crafts, but one student borrowed a glue gun from the art teacher to glue some pieces together. Later on, I needed to fix one that had broken. I plugged the glue gun in with the intention of coming back a minute later after it had warmed up but someone asked me a question which got me doing something different… and oops! I forgot about it. I caught it fifteen minutes later but still! Didn’t feel the brightest or the safest!
  3. Forgetting about a lunch duty. Every Friday I have Spanish lunch club from 12-12:30. Today I thought it was from 12:30-1:00. Then I forgot about it completely. Good thing I happened to be in my room- where the lunch club takes place! I had brought in Mexican candy a friend sent to me and all went well! (in spite of my memory loss).
  4. Going to bed way too late. My bed time keeps getting later, and the tasks keep piling up. I’ve committed to a lot this year. Day job. (Teaching Class Characters all week in 8 different classes. Whew- my language peeps will get this one.) Evening and weekend job. Morning yoga. Personal blog. Treating my advisory like a special class. Ten minute time with my girls. Health challenge at school. Sewing craft items for my crafting for a cause class. Laundry every day, lots of communication with lots of people for the girls, the list goes on. It all takes time. To do it well, it all takes confidence, calm, a feeling of joy and authenticity. As I take on more, I get tired. As I get tired, I get slower. My soul and body look for moments of peace and solitude. And the best time available is at night time. Or after school time when I should be doing schoolwork. So my to-do list grows longer as less gets done. And my bed time gets later. How’s that for a lot of ands.
  5. Working through lunch. On Wednesday, I experienced some tech issues. Actually, I’ve been experiencing them for months, but didn’t want to ask for help without doing all I could to self-help first. But diagnosing tech issues without an expert to assist you takes time, as you well know! I ended up using my lunch time to get tech support and was assisted right away and the problem was solved. Effective, quick, helpful and kind tech support is rare. I’m super grateful I had this help. Now, to try and set up the color printer that hasn’t been working all year….
  6. Feeling less and less comfortable being uncomfortable. This week I’ve been sliding back to wearing jeans many days. Jeans with classy- yet comfy- shirts. I haven’t put make-up on all week, because I don’t want to have to take the extra time to wash it off. As soon as I get home, I change into pj bottoms and a hoodie. I’m also less comfortable with silence or middle school attitudes at school. It will cause me to overextend myself in an attempt to do things that are so great, ALL students will be happy and have a great attitude. (Unrealistic expectations anyone?) I realized upon self-reflection that I am less comfortable with being uncomfortable – and all these actions are a result.
  7. Overstimulation. If I hear the word “Mom?” one more time I’m gonna run away. My daughters are wonderful. They love writing and art, playing outside and socializing. But they are spoiled and used to getting their way. And constantly pulling for my attention. Then when they go to bed, my husband needs help or has questions. Tonight while I was prepping dinner, one kid was practicing writing and kept asking how to spell words. The other was spinning around to music. I tried to sing and was told not to, then asked how to spell another word. Then they decided to play “puppies,” which is basically wrestling. A little crazy too crazy for me. Earlier, at their gymnastics practice, (my only alone time to get work done) two little boys were flipping cars across the length of the waiting room. Currently, my family is playing the “Stinky Pig” game. It is “hot potato” with a pig that sings and toots. While watching football. Mom wants peace and quiet. And a good book. And no fighting. And another week of vacation…

How tired are you this first month of the New Year? Comment below and let me know!

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