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- Teacher Anxiety: How to Cope With Anxiety Under Stress - July 29, 2018
- Depression Kills Teachers if Left Untreated: It Should Not Kill Their Careers - July 23, 2018
- Amidst Declining Mental Health in Teachers, What Can Administrators Do? - June 30, 2018
- 5 Things I'd Tell Myself in My Earlier Teaching Years - October 15, 2017
- How Class Dojo Saves My Sanity Daily - October 1, 2017
- Surviving the School Year: Game of Thrones Style - August 27, 2017
- What to Change Behavior? Start With Class Meetings in Special Education - August 20, 2017
- When Your Administrator Doesn't Like You - July 3, 2017
- Conquering Teacher Biases Against Disabilities: Important Strategies - May 8, 2017
“Are you working, Mommy?” my son asks me when I pull out my laptop. The crate that sits beside the
couch has become my mobile office--full of papers to grade, books, data collection, and lesson plan
ideas. My routine every weeknight has become this: stay at work until five-thirty, say goodnight to the
cleaning lady who patiently waits for me to vacate my classroom, roll “the crate” into my car, pick up
son while my husband picks up my other son, spend some time with my family, then work until almost
So when do I say enough is enough? When should you say enough is enough? I've got to tell
you, my fellow teachers out there, that there comes a time when a person has to stop. No matter how
much your students need you, or what you promised that parent, or how reliant your coworker might be
on you, at some point, something’s got to give. What if that “something” is you? Will you
fulfill your student needs, keep your promises to your parents, and remain a reliable
coworker then? It is doubtful.
So how do you know you've had enough? I think we all have varying thresholds of what we can take, but
that doesn't mean we should take as much as we can until we reaching breaking point. No one should
ever reach that point. Here are a few signs you might have reached your breaking point and you need to pack it all up and take a break:
1. Dwindling Patience. You just don’t have the same amount of patience that you used to. Lack of sleep combined with stress will do that to you, and it will begin to wear on all your relationships.
2. Honey, Where Are My Paaaants? Okay. That came from the Lego Movie. But, have you started forgetting everything? You feel like you’re in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and it runs in the
family and maybe you should get that checked out. Maybe it’s easier than that. Maybe you just
need some sleep and some time to relax.
3. Spontaneous Narcolepsy. Falling asleep at your desk all the sudden? Having trouble keeping
your eyes open on the road? It’s time to give it a rest. It’s not worth your job at this point.
4. Worsening Reflux/Stomach Issues. Are you suddenly needing to take more antacids than usual? Do you feel nauseated more often? Or, on the inverse of that, do you find yourself eating
everything in sight? If you find yourself eating more than usual (or less) either one of those
things could cause you to feel discomfort. Add stress to that and your stomach goes into full
5. Depression/Anxiety. Do you feel like you just cannot get a handle on your emotions? Maybe
you cry more than usual or you feel panicked all of the time. Do you isolate yourself from your
friends, family, or coworkers as a result of any of these feelings? If it’s been going on for a while
and you’re completely overwhelmed, it’s time to get some help. Talk to your doctor for some
options and if you’re even close to considering harming yourself there’s a National Suicide
Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255).
I’m happy to say that although I still work myself entirely too hard and still stay up way too late some nights, I do have evenings where I do not bring work home. My husband rejoices on the nights that he does not help bring “the crate” out of my car. I try to get the bulk of my planning done at work and leave what I can there. I do still plan my week out on the weekends, but that leaves the rest of my week free for the most part. It’s not worth my health or sacrificing time with my family if I can help it. If you feel yourself reaching your breaking point, please heed the warning signs and cut yourself some slack. You’ll find yourself a much happier person when you do. Take it from someone who knows.