The Christmas I Lied to Everyone

The first Christmas after starting a teaching career

If you have been reading my posts thus far, I hardly need to tell you that my first semester was no cake-walk...it was a bit more like running the gauntlet. Everywhere I turned I felt like I was being pushed down. 

So when Christmas break rolled around and people would ask how my first year on the job was going, I would answer with a solitary word: “Fine.” There must have been some kind of finality in my voice, because nobody ever asked for more information. 

I didn’t want to talk about the reality of my experience thus far. I didn’t want to talk about my frustrations with the lack of motivated students. Nor the fact that I felt completely unprepared and was continuously running behind. I didn’t want to talk about the fact that my technology was continuously failing me. I didn’t really want to talk about anything.

I felt numb. How could I return to work feeling this way? It was at this time that I discovered this graphic explaining the phases of the first year teacher’s attitude toward teaching. Which can be found at this website. http://weac.org/articles/new-teacher-handbook/phases/) It was alarmingly true. I certainly did start the year with great anticipation and by September I had defiantly entered survival mode. And now, the disillusionment had unquestionably set in. I took some solace in the fact that things were going to get better...at least according to the study.

phases of the first year teaching

If you are feeling a bit like I was that first Christmas break, here is my advice for you: don’t do work. At least for part of your time off. If it is Christmas break, decide that you won’t take work home, won’t even look up lesson plan possibilities on Pinterest. I had 2 weeks of Christmas break and I think that I actually worked on school prep for 2 days of that time. 

If you’re with family, be with family. If you have some time to yourself, go get a pedicure! Or whatever it is that de-stresses you! If you are anything like me, your mind is probably completely weighed down with all the worries and stresses of the year thus far. No matter what time of year it is, don’t forget to take care of yourself! If you don’t you won’t feel your best when you get back to school and you won’t want to deal with all the crap that gets thrown your way.

Are there any seasoned teachers out there who can relate to these feelings? What is it that you do to destress and unwind? Leave a comment and share your mind.