The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Seven Signs of an Overwhelmed Teacher

1.  Bringing hot dogs to school to heat up for lunch...not enough time to snag anything else in the morning, and they were still in their packaging.  (Chicken dogs take forever to cook in the microwave.)

2.  Looking forward to watching certain TV shows.  In the evening.  On your television in your classroom. While you're still at work.

3.  Taking a cloth grocery bag back and forth, from work to home, back to work and back home, sometimes 3 times a week.  The bag is so full of papers to grade, you worry that it'll bust open, and cover the neighborhood with a three-inch layer of worksheets.  Sometimes you don't even take the bag out of your car when you get home.  But it waits for you every day, patiently...

4.  Eating microwaved popcorn for dinner.  Or yogurt.  In the evening.  In your classroom.

5.  Noticing that every time test scores are mentioned, your left eye twitches uncontrollably for 8 minutes weeks.

photo by burnitblue
6.  During a choking incident, your teaching partner has to perform the heimlich manuever on you in the teacher's lounge because you wolfed down your lunch (see #1) in 12 minutes so you would have time to go back to...(drum roll, please) your classroom to grade papers.

7.  This school year you have not worn makeup once.  You took your makeup bag out of your purse when cleaning it out, put the makeup bag somewhere (at long red lights is when it's applied, usually), and do not have the energy/time to look for it.  (So now your school has a genuine "Scared Straight" program; just one look at Mrs. R without any makeup will cause trembling and paralysis.)

What is a sign that you are overworked or overwhelmed? (As a teacher? As a writer? As a parent?)


  1. And to think, it's only September! Hang in there.

  2. Yeah, I GET the make-up thing. I've started taking out just one small stack of papers, and carrying it around. Seems to work - the pile isn't so intimidating, and I feel all virtuous about getting it done in those spare moments while I'm waiting for a meeting to start, the bell to ring, the faculty bathroom to empty, on hold on the phone.

  3. I've actually worn two different shoes to work. They weren't even close in style or color. One was a black flat and the other was a blue dansko. I have had an extra pair of shoes in my car ever since. How sad is that? I couldn't even blame it on dim lighting.

    Great post! Love the list!

  4. Barbara--
    Thanks for the well wishes. And thanks for the offer of chocolate at the retreat.

    Linda--I sometimes take small paperclipped piles and I too feel proud when I get them checked. It's amazing how we press ourselves to make every spare minute count...

    Undergound Teacher--Did you tell everyone it was National Tacky Day? That is very funny. One time (this year, already) I got to work and realized I had my pants on inside-out. They were well-worn knit pants, black, and it was not glaringly apparent---at least to me. Thankfully, I was one of the first ones in the building, and since I discovered it in the staff bathroom, I was able to quickly fix my screw-up. Like you, I got dressed with the lights on. What does that say about us?

  5. Too funny!! I sure hope it gets better...and SOON! Thank goodness for that TV in your classroom! :D

  6. P.S. I forgot to say what happens when I become overwhelmed....I tend to get REAL crabby AND tired! So, I complain and crab...and then take a long nap! :D


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