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Re: Stressless or trying to be

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From: German Jove (jv_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 08:04:45 PDT


Stressless or trying to beI agree with you....you are a wise person! Thanks for the advices!
Marie-Claude
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Patricia Knott
  To: ArtsEdNet Talk
  Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 4:35 PM
  Subject: Stressless or trying to be

  After 10 years of the worst stress I've ever know, teaching that is
  And only we in education understand the stress
  just an aside
  My doctor and lawyer friends don't think my job is as stressful as theirs. I tell them - you deal with one client at a time and if you don't want to you can tell them to go someplace else. I deal with 30 kids at time, 5 times a day, each with their own individual problems. I can't fire my clients! I can't get rid of them, and I have no choice as to who comes into my room.
  So don't let anyone ever tell you this is not a stressful job.

  Some things I do:
     For years, I thought I had to be available to the kids all the time. They came into my room during my lunch, my free periods, before school , after school.....
     Now I make sure I go someplace where there are no kids for my lunch. I refuse to stand up gobbling down my lunch getting ready for the next group to in. And I eat a good lunch, not pizza and chips like I was getting accustomed to.
     And, I have my own coffee machine and cookies to sneak when they aren't looking.

     This year, for the first time, I forced myself not to do work at home. Every day I load up my car with stuff to do, but there it stays (most of the time). If I can not get done at school in the time I am paid to be there then it gets put on hold 'til it gets down in that time. They will ask for more and more if we keep using all our own time for more and more.

     I keep track of hours I spend outside of school on school and the money I spend from my own pocket. When you look at the numbers, you will certainly say no more! I was spending incredible amounts of money on school related items. I'm still paying in stress for that.

     I try to go out for dinner at least once a week. Especially you women out there. You cater all day to children's need, you come home to your own children's needs, your husbands needs, ask to be needless for dinner at least once a week.

     At home, limit the amount of time you bitch and moan about school. Get it out and be done with it.

     Recognize how smart and capable you are and just how much you know. For the past few years I have spent way too much time on the computer searching the internet for ideas and resources. And then more hours putting on the "show." I think I was a better teacher before all the bells and whistles. I have lots of years as an artist, fewer as a teacher, but I've decided that standards and objectives will not overtake what I know kids should get from art. Trust yourself.

     Learn something new. Two years ago I started to pursue something I never thought I could do. It took me 2 years, but I got a private pilot's license. It was very hard for me, and I learned much about learning. And now every Sunday morning I go off into the sky where it' s only me and the plane and my competence and all of god's wonder. And when I can't fly, my stress goes up.
  SO find something challenging to do, something you didn't think you could do. See it through. I'll tell you, I have a greater appreciation for students who struggle now.

     Remember why you are in the classroom. Remember your favorite teachers when you where a kid. What is it that they gave? Remember who you responded to most and why. And model yourself from them, not some ideal that may exist today.

     One more thing, when you need a sick day or personal day TAKE IT. I have hundreds of sick days piled up because I find it harder to make plans than to stay home. But guess what? When you are not there, it still goes on no matter what. You are not indispensable and you are replaceable.

  We can only be good for the kids if we are good to ourselves.
  Now all of you----
  Use your summer wisely.

  Patty
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