"Epiphany in Baltimore," a 28-year old high school English teacher in Charm City who also works as a waiter to pay his bills, recently learned something about matters of the heart vis-a-vis his punishing schedule: At CPR/First Aid training on Saturday, our instructor told us that the five jobs most affected by stress resulting in heart problems are police officer, lawyer, doctor, fire fighter, and... of course, teacher. All these people have no set schedule, and live for the sake of others. I'm reminded of this fact as [I] ponder my 85-hour work week last week and look over ...


Newoldschoolteacher vents after a bad day: My one class … who never do their homework all just bombed a quiz today. A couple of them--ones who do work and/or listen in class--did fine. The rest BOMBED. One of them said that Abraham Lincoln, before he was a politician, was a MAILMAN. Someone else said a gardener. … They make me feel completely incompetent. They are OUT of control. Mainly there are 3 instigators, and the rest are happy to follow along. … Parts of her post (including the title) aren't exactly what you'd call—well—nice. But then, we're fairly confident...


Konrad Glogowski, an elementary-level language arts teacher in Canada, writes that he saw an unusual phenomenon in his class the other day that helped him corroborate his transformation as a teacher: His students were actually reading the comments he had written on the tests he passed back to them. This wasn’t a coincidence or paranormal occurrence, he says, but the result of a change he has made in the way he responds to student work: Why were they reading my comments? Why were they so involved? Well, after years of teaching and, what’s even more important, after two ...


Rachel Previs, an elementary education major at the College of William and Mary, hopes that, when she becomes a teacher, she’ll be able to balance her desire to be seen as a professional with her innate silliness: I think teachers often get so swept into the fears of standardization and cramming information in that they forget to laugh every now and again with students. … I always think it’s a great thing to remember is to learn to laugh at yourself. Be prepared to make mistakes and embarass yourself, but learn to laugh it off! Out of the mouths ...


Only weeks into her second semester, the first-year middle school teacher who writes east meets west has settled into a well-honed routine for treating the frequent illnesses that come with the job: First, I take an Airborne, an Alka-Seltzer-like tablet chock full of herbs and amino acids. Then I drink water. A few hours later, I take another Airborne. I continue taking Airborne and other vitamins every four to six hours. I close the deal by going to bed early thanks to one NyQuil pill. In the morning, I take another Airborne. I have another Airborne with lunch. Then I ...


Dmcdowell of A History Teacher says he loves his work, but there’s one aspect of it that fills him with dread: Grading. Noting that he just spent at least 25 hours grading 109 essays for his AP world history course, he has some quite reasonable doubts about the old notion that “teachers have it easy”: I have friends who have said it must be nice to be done with work at 2:30. But, as my wife will attest to, I am always working. I always have a paper to grade, a lesson to work on, a meeting to ...


Veteran special education teacher Mrs. Ris reveals how she copes with stress and maintains perspective in the many wrenching situations she faces in her work: One way I am able to manage myself and my response to my emotionally disabled students is to meditate daily. I try to pray for a peacefulness, a centeredness that will allow me to do my best everyday, despite the terrible stress, and frequent disappointments. … Anyway, this one small prayer, 7 short words, hit me hard last night as I went searching for guidance and peace. Lord, help me not be an obstacle. Somedays, that's ...


New York City educator Mildly Melancholy was mildly floored when, in a teaching class, she was asked to decribe herself "as a person and a professional." Here's what I ended up writing: --out of classroom: easy-going; laugh a lot; music on always; books close by; sometimes lazy --in the classroom: stern, high expectations; dry and sarcastic jokes; piles of papers and books; music on or nearby; loud Like any good narcissist, I found this very interesting. It was not a revelation that my personality is different depending on my surroundings, but to lay it out in simple terms was fascinating... ...


NYC Educator has an interesting take on them. (From NYC Educator.)...


JHS Teacher finds she takes offense when acquaintences talk reverently about her choice of profession, suggesting it’s a kind of noble sacrifice: I really hate that. I know, most people think they're giving me a compliment, but what's going on underneath is that idea that teachers are a special breed. One that gets its satisfaction not from money or wealth, but from doing good deeds in the world. By thinking of teaching as a "calling" rather than a profession, we are more put into the ranks of nuns and missionaries, rather than highly trained professionals. Isn't there a vow ...


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