Sometimes you read something about teaching and say, “Yep, that’s exactly it.” Ex-teacher Ellie Herman has written such a piece.
In “The Day I Knew For Sure I Was Burned Out,” Ms. Herman perfectly depicts what it feels like to teach in an urban public school.
I really want you to read this article — I wish Ms. Herman were a contributor to TEACHER VOICES — so I’ll share with you a few quotes:
No matter how fast or long I worked, I could not get everything done. I developed a body memory of exactly how much I could accomplish in five minutes, in one minute, in thirty seconds. I was always in a panic because I had limited control over my circumstances. Everything felt like an emergency.
There were literally days when I did not have time to go to the bathroom. What else could I cut out of my day? Breathing?
“The day I definitively and conclusively gave up, it was after six o’clock and I was making 100 copies of 11 different scenes for my Drama class. I’d been at work since before 7 a.m.; it was dark when I arrived at school and dark now. Since our school was mainly windowless, and we were always too busy to leave the building during the day, I had not seen sunlight for three days.”
Source: http://j.mp/1qPPWdt (via Pocket). (Credit to Clare Green at Impact Academy in Hayward for sharing this article with me.) You can also find this article at Iserotope Extras, a curated list of my favorite articles about teaching, reading, and technology.