I apologize for the radio silence here on Haughty by Nature for the past three weeks. Let me describe to you a sample of the things I've been doing in lieu of blogging:
Paperwork. Lesson plans. Filing paperwork. Revising lesson plans. Explaining to parents that their child can't read. Explaining to parents that their child can read but sits there like a bump on a log and therefore has a zero in my class. More paperwork. Meetings. Scrubbing "Blood Killers" off my desk that someone had scratched there in pencil. Writing referrals. Picking people's desks up and slamming them down when they fell asleep in class. More paperwork. Meetings. Throwing T.'s journal across the room like a frisbee before and screaming at him to get to the office. Doing vocabulary drills. Wiping away a dyslexic child's tears after he made a zero on his test because he couldn't read it. Writing notes to parents saying their child works well in small groups. Talking to students in the hallways about why yelling "I'm going to effing kill you" is actually inappropriate in 100% of situations. Talking to students about how it is actually 1) rude and 2) unhelpful to tell one of their group members that they just "can't be helped" before snatching flashcards out of their hands. More paperwork. Yelling at J. to stop pouting about the 46 he got on his test because that's what happens when you don't pay attention while I'm teaching.
And that was just yesterday.
The honeymoon stage is over, and February has been a particularly tough month with the mountain of paperwork I've had to deal with in addition to everything else. I want my life back.
I want to leave work at work and come home and relax. I want to work out. I want to keep in touch with my friends and family. I want to have time to get my haircut and have the money to get my nails done. I need a massage. I want to be able to shut my brain off so that students aren't the last thing I think about before I fall asleep and the first thing I think about upon waking up.
The other hard part about living in this town is that my only friends are teachers, which means conversations inevitably turn to work when we're together. (This doesn't help the brain shut off mentioned earlier.)
I've put in 60 hour weeks every week for the past 3 weeks. There hasn't been a day when I've spent less than 12 hours of work. Basically, I'm burnt out, I'm tired, and there's still 5 weeks until spring break.
Help? How can I recharge?