Teacher Tired.

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Teaching is hard work.Sleepy, Sleepy, Sleepy.

People who haven’t taught probably don’t believe me, but it’s true.

It’s just a different kind of tired.

Not like being a coal miner tired.  Or dentist tired (actually, being a dentist is just creepy… sticking your hands in people’s mouths all day… the horror).  Or even road construction stop sign holder in 127 degree weather tired. 

But it’s hard work.

This is especially true during the beginning of school.

Teachers (and administrators… although the assumption is we do far less) are wiped out by the end of the day on Friday.

It’s because they’re not in teaching shape.

Their voices are gone, their legs are tired, and they have blisters from grading papers.

It is harder than it looks to stand up in front of crazy-eyed jumpy children and teach Chapter 1.

You can’t take 3 months off in the summer and expect to be on top of your game the very first week.

But in time it comes back.

The teacher voice returns.

Their legs get stronger.

The blisters heal.

Then they are ready for the year ahead.

While the first week can be exhausting, it’s worth it.

And it certainly beats working for a living.

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16 Responses to “Teacher Tired.”


  1. Daisy
    on Aug 21st, 2010
    @ 11:36 am

    Amen! My husband (works in TV) met a group of my students who played Pop Warner football. He and the other TV folks described them as the “wildest team we’ve seen all season.” I laughed and asked him to imagine teaching these guys math! Now he knew why I came home tired every day. Fun kids, but oh my, the energy.


  2. Olwyn Hughes
    on Aug 21st, 2010
    @ 12:20 pm

    Wiped out by the end of the day Friday?!? Try wiped out by the end of the day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday!!!!!

    Two more weeks of vacation and then I will be joining the legions of exhausted teachers. Sigh…


  3. Johanna
    on Aug 21st, 2010
    @ 1:41 pm

    That explains it exactly! First day I was asleep by 8:30 that night, second night was 9:30, third night was 10:30. Maybe next week I’ll be on my normal schedule! :)


  4. Alfred Thompson
    on Aug 21st, 2010
    @ 3:16 pm

    My first year in teaching it took me almost all year to get into teacher shape after years of being in software development. Each year after that it took less and less time but never took less than a month. I tried to workout but somethings you just have to actually do I guess. OF course after only 8 years of teaching I still can’t sit sstill 7 years later. Does teaching give you ADHD?

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Alfred Thompson, I don’t know about all teachers having ADHD… but I have it.


  5. Melanie
    on Aug 21st, 2010
    @ 4:22 pm

    Just for the record, I know our administrator is working her tail off just as much, if not more than the rest of us. We have two new principals and a new superintendent, and with all that upset, this has still been the most “normal” first week I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching. It is exhausting, but it is a good exhausting. It means I’m making a difference.


  6. Sandy
    on Aug 21st, 2010
    @ 6:44 pm

    After all the fun of teaching the first week next week, I get to chaperone the high school band to their first football game Friday night when I should be sleeping by 9. I don’t know that I’ll have much of a voice to cheer or that I’ll be able to keep my eyes open on the bus home, but, ready or not, here we go! It will be November before I know it.


  7. Addie Gaines
    on Aug 22nd, 2010
    @ 6:55 am

    This absolutely made me laugh out loud because it is so perceptive and true. When I taught kindergarten, I called it the “run over by a Mack truck feeling.” After a few years, I would have to tell myself…”I know it must get better than this….because no one would come back to this year after year if it didn’t.”

    I don’t know about teaching giving you ADHD, but it helps :-)

    Here’s to an awesome school year to the few, the proud, the difference-makers, the future-shapers, those recovering from their first week and those looking forward to recovering from their first week…the teachers!


  8. Glen westbroek
    on Aug 22nd, 2010
    @ 7:22 am

    I found the solution to “teacher tired” – become a sponge and teach Middle School students! Since I made the change, I soak up so much energy that I can stay up with my students.


  9. Tom Ranieri
    on Aug 23rd, 2010
    @ 4:48 pm

    Interesting topic. I think wearing crocs at the start of the year is a good option although I understand not all schools allow this. Maybe there is a market for a 5 day Teacher Camp to help get us back into shape. Thanks for the blog and best of luck to everyone this year!

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Tom Ranieri, Crocs? I’m going to pass.

    Teacher Camp? Count me in.


  10. Diane
    on Aug 25th, 2010
    @ 5:06 am

    I was never so tired as when I was a student teacher last fall. I was walking my dog before school the second morning and cried the whole time from exhaustion-I seriously considered quitting. My husband talked me off the ledge, however, and it ended up being a wonderful experience. And I lost 20 pounds in four months. :)


  11. Maggie
    on Aug 26th, 2010
    @ 3:33 am

    A+!


  12. Paperwork trail
    on Nov 5th, 2010
    @ 6:09 pm

    I know I’m late with viewing, let alone, commenting on the post, but just wanted to say that school has been in session for two months and I am still exhausted. I never have time for my son.

    Now before anyone says this is normal teacher rhetoric, take a second and look at the insurmountable expectations of our administrator:
    * Attend Saturday workshops as well as 2-3 weekly afterschool workshops
    * Sit individually with students to complete goal sheets for every subject matter (elementary teacher, so that’s all five core curriculum standards) as well as complete individual benchmark assessments in reading

    * Assess each student in every subject area using school-made benchmark assessments, itemizing the specific topic of each question ourselves and then creating a spreadsheet to check off the kids pre-teaching knowledge

    * Use the goal sheets to then type report card comments on a half-page piece of paper, although the goal sheets will already be in the report cards

    * Meet afterschool to create a yearlong curriculum map, then use that map to create a monthly calendar with all dates filled in for every teaching subject for the entire school year, then plan one page lessons for every subject lesson for each day (Did I mention all of this has to be typed?)

    * Maintain a binder substantiating proof that differentiation and rigor is indeed occurring in the classroom (despite having spent two months individually meeting with students while class is in session)

    * Running campaign trails for upper grade students, planning for holiday assembly, and having to schedule monthly trips to coincide with the curriculum

    With that said, I am exhausted.

    Although, I, admittingly, could have also used this same energy to type up some parental comments, I needed to vent instead! Thank you :D

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Paperwork trail, Venting is good.

    And this comment is great.


  13. Kristi Jendrzejak
    on Nov 11th, 2010
    @ 9:07 am

    Hello! I’m Kristi Jendrzejak and I’m a student from Trinity Christian College. Our professor sent us to your website to read through your entries, and I must say this is the most entertaining website for educators I’ve ever visited. This entry in particular stood out to me because even as a student, you realize that there is a lot more work teachers are expected to complete on top of teaching. I’ve gotten in a few arguments with friends of mine who are non-education majors, and they always say I’ve picked the easiest profession. Then I continue to tell them that it’s a lot trickier than you think, and they continue to not believe me. So it’s frustrating and true that there’s a lot teachers have to deal with, and it can just be exhausting sometimes. I expect to be completely overwhelmed when I start student teaching and when I get my first job, but in the end I know it’ll be worth it.

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