Can you burn out after less than four years? I don't think it is true burn out but this year I seem to be drowning. My first year was tough, of course, but I was high on all of the newness, the kids, the classroom, etc... My second year we moved and I started at a new school. It was tough, there were people that did not welcome the new "kids", were less than helpful, but I got through it. I cried a few times, but all in all it was a really good year. Last year was wonderful. I had a sweet class, great parents, and we had some amazing new teachers come in that breathed new life into everything.
But this year... This year is tough and just when I think things are smoothing out a new curve comes in the road. My class is tough, you know that. We have a new principal who I adore but it is a huge adjustment from the awesome guy we had last two years. I think what is weighing it all down is the increase of data, paper work and the redundant records we have to keep. Every meeting we have I walk away overwhelmed because more has been asked of us and nothing has been taken to lighten the load.
We had a data meeting today and we were given more things to do, more records to keep. I left deflated. I spent eight hours at school during my fall break getting 100% organized, copies made, all work graded, lesson plans sketched out for two months, all filing done, etc... I can grade at home and during planning I could handle the little day to day things that crop up. My lunch is usually spent working with kids who are behind or need reteaching.
So I came out of the meeting defeated and not real happy. Also, I had called a parent just before the meeting to talk to her about her daughter who is behind in work. I'll call the student "precious". Mom was angry and gave me every excuse why precious could not get caught up over our 5 day fall break. She told me her daughter would not be going to Saturday school, that it was my job to get precious caught up. She said they had other things they needed to do Saturday.
Back in the classroom I had to talk to "precious". I told her we needed to get her caught up, that mom wasn't happy and I did not want to have to talk to her again and get yelled at. Yep, mom yelled at me. I hate that. I did not expect precious to cry. She said "You're not the only one she yells at!" And she sobbed in my arms. I wanted to cry. I forgot. I forgot no matter how important I think her assignment on Egypt is, she has bigger worries. She said her mom doesn't care about her or her work. I know she's right about the latter; I got that loud and clear. As she cried and we talked later about how we would get her caught up, I couldn't help but think, "Where do I find time just for you precious? I have reports to file, and three levels of lessons on seven different subjects to teach, and t-shirt orders to sort, and online surveys I am required to complete, and graded work to sort, and silly-boy is asking a thousand questions again..."
I keep thinking it will get better... And I hang on...