Staying Sane

Sometimes as teachers we need to remind ourselves:   there is life outside of class.    It is extremely important to have SOMETHING away from students, from school, and from teaching that will help you maintain your sense of self.     Self care is a real necessity for teachers…

Let me start again:  It’s been a rough week.

Mind you, I love my job and I love my students…  mostly.   I know that my student’s lives can be complicated, and they will bring some of that baggage into the class.   Life happens,  and life is sometimes messy.    As teachers, we don’t really have the option of bringing our life’s complications into the class.

I have the luxury most days of not needing to take my work home with me.   By the time I get home, I can pursue my non-teacherly pursuits.    I have a lot of things that I do to maintain my version of sanity.   I alternate between reading about math/science, science-fiction, and horror.  I own an incredible collection of morally bankrupt video games.   I hang out in funky coffee shops and write a tongue-in-cheek teaching blog.    I engage in different flights of imagination, dependent on the group of friends I am hanging out with.   I have a fine collection of angst-ridden music.

And I run.   I don’t run very fast,  but I run pretty far.   For me, there is nothing that beats a 5+ mile runners high after a stressful day.

So, yeah.    This it what it takes to keep me sane-ish.

Teachers:   take care of yourself,   you are worth it.     Students:   I love you.   You are worth it too.    Mostly.

2 thoughts on “Staying Sane

  1. Joy Bolen says:

    I completely agree and think that teachers in the first years aren’t told that nearly enough! It is okay to not take work home everyday. In fact, I recommend that you don’t! What is really going to happen if those papers aren’t graded tonight? That’s right….they can wait until tomorrow! I think a lot of times teachers get too caught up with their teaching lives, that they get run down from not having “me time.” It is definitely important to take care of yourself as a teacher, especially in the days we have ahead…the time before Thanksgiving and Christmas!

    • Colin says:

      Thank you Joy!

      I also notice that the folk who are attracted to teaching jobs have a service mindset – it is easy to put student’s needs ahead of our own. Truthfully a balance must be maintained, otherwise we are doing a disservice to both ourselves and our students. I also think that is why teaching has such a high burnout rate: there is always more you can do for a class, or for your students. I guess it has already been said: “Perfection is the enemy of the good.”

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