Friday, November 07, 2008

Burn, baby, burn....!

Actually, the topic should be 'Burnout, baby, burnout...'

Burnout is every teacher's problem. Our work requires us to feel for our 'clients' (i.e. students) and in the process, treat them like our own children. The thing is, the emo can only be spread around so far...

January launches us straight into sports activities (nothing can bond teachers and students together like sweating out on the fields...) and before we can even take a breath, it's already March and that means TESTS! For the teacher, this means cranking out 'quality' test papers, watching the kids take it and then marking them. Then it's analysis time, headcounts, item analyses etc etc ad nauseam. Overlapping the tests will be other cocurricular activities like debates, spelling bees, quizzes, choir competitions ...more ad nauseam. And guess who will plan organise referee these activities? Teachers la...

I've run from debates in the morning to dramas in the afternoon and when I drag my exhausted body home, it will be to pick up a red pen to mark some 450 essays (5 classes of English x 50 students x 3 essays each). And in the mix will be some naughty kids, a stressed friend or two and a demanding boss.

One or two weeks' break would help to ease the strain some...if there are no school activities then.

June July August September will be a blur of lessons, meetings, exams and reports. Mid October will be what a literature teacher would call resolution time. Time to analyse, finalise and report everything. By the first week of November (like now!), most teachers would be feeling like a wet rag wrung out and hung out to dry. The right adjectives to use would be dried up, shriveled, shrunken, withered, dessicated WILTED...

Coincidentally, www.yourdictionary.com says the antonyms are fresh, blooming, alive....

Well, that's why the year end holidays are so important. We teachers need time to destress and to soak up lots of pampering, coddling, indulging...HEALING. It takes a lot of indulging for me to feel fresh, blooming and alive again. Speaking of indulging, I was at TecAsia this afternoon...hmmm, saw lots of tech things guaranteed to help me feel alive.

Sigh, can't wait for the holidays...

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