Monday, January 14, 2013

Long Hours

Finding the time to write this has been quite difficult. I'm at that point in teaching placement where I had to have a ton of work done to submit online by 5pm today, which meant any work I might have done in the staffroom was all for that, and not specifically for tomorrow's lessons.

The problem? Motivating myself to work after a long day in the school is difficult, especially when tired, and especially when I know the work I do will not be appreciated by the pupils. They are beginning to realise, however, that I'm a student teacher, with a couple of shocked faces at the revelation of the amount of work I have to do for each lesson.

Still, these long hours are killing me slowly, whether the students notice I'm doing a lot of work in advance for them or not.

I'd love a chance to sit down and not have to worry about the next lesson I'm going to teach. While I'm in the school, I will be open to inspection at pretty much any time, so every lesson is met with a bag of nerves bashing about the place. And two bags with ridiculous folders in them, too, with all my lesson plans and resources.

Oh yeah...

I know these long hours are part and process of becoming a teacher. That doesn't mean I have to like them. The meticulous lesson planning, the resource gathering, the staying up late to do it all and waking up early to get to the school in time to teach it all is draining me quickly.

If last year, and the year before that, are anything to go by, I'll be sick by the end of the final week, when the last inspection is done and the last class taught and my body thinks it's time to settle down and relax and BAM - a kick in the immune system, because I'm not under high pressure to not get sick anymore.

Seriously, happened last year when the placement was less stressful.

This is my big worry about placement, actually, that I might get sick before its over. I know there's only so much stress and lack of sleep I can take before it starts to come through. There's no denying that this is a tough job, and the inspections don't help.

If people thought the emphasis placed on a single exam in the Leaving Cert was bad, then they have no idea. A single forty minute lesson could decide my whole future, theoretically, and even if I did everything right things could still go wrong, because I can't control what every single pupil decides to do at any given moment in the lesson. They're not robots, they can't be programmed, and they can't be expected to sit there in silence as the Dream Team of students to teach while the examiner is present. No class can achieve that, though some really do try.

The point is, I'm tired. I'm going to get less than seven hour's sleep, and writing this had nothing to do with that, because I had resources printing while I was writing.

It's a thankless job, with no salary at the end of the placement, and I'm fairly sure that it makes teaching look like the worst job in the world, even though I love being in the classroom. It's just the extra hours up until midnight and the lesson plans and resources required that I don't like. Mainly because (and I can't say this enough) I'm tired as heck.

On the bright side, I'm managing to write something every day this year regardless. And maybe, maybe, I'll get to get ahead of myself tomorrow. That'd be something.

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