The best part about making bread (besides eating it) is the same as the best part about math: people think it’s really hard and therefore are impressed when you do it. (Even thought it’s not)
The thing is the hardest part about making bread really is just all the dishes you have to wash. Bread is a lazy person’s food. You do one easy step then you hang out. Then you do an even easier step then you sit around again. Finally you make it look pretty, bake it and have super impressive and delicious outcome. Plus the success is tangible.
I’m starting to get tired again like I did right before thanksgiving. Not to the same extent but still. I am going to the Staff Winter Party tonight and then I am taking the rest of the weekend to just grade and hang around my apartment. I have a alot of stuff to do but I’m really okay with that. So long as I get to do it in lazy clothes without having to impress other people. I feel like my battery depleted faster than it did in the first part of school. Is this normal?
How do you recharge? Are you better at this than me? I felt amazing after going to my parents for a few days but that’s really not a feasible recharging option. I’m hoping two weeks will be enough. I’m spending one week at home and one week here just hanging out. ( I think 9 days with my family without a car will do it for me. love you, mom)
If I am feeling like this I wonder how my kids are feeling? I know that we like to joke that we are more excited for vacation then the kids but I cannot imagine that the kids are feeling any less burnt out then me. Will I feel better after break? Do you feel better in January? I know that there are a lot of vacations in spring semester, does that help with burn out?
I know this is short but I’m tired and when I started writing this post (friday) I was determined to finish it. So BAM done.
5 thoughts on “While Making Bread.”
All I can say is that you are not alone. I literally broke down in tears while talking to my director last week. It seems like the more we teachers care about how we do our jobs and about our students, the faster the burnout happens. I don’t practice what I preach, but some things that work when I do them are:
Reading for fun
Going walking after school w/colleague
The problem is that the job can be all consuming if we let it. With budget issues, things only seem to get worse.
I’m right there with you. This year seems worse for me than years past. Perhaps some of this has to do with budget problems and the increasing workload of teachers.
As I’m writing this, I’m thinking we should be setting some reasonable goals for the second half of the school year. Like have a real conversation with one student each week. If I can do that, then I’m good. I’ll worry about the teaching second.
It is natural to feel exhausted at this time of the school year. That’s why it is good that you instinctively felt drawn to the nourishing, self-nurturing activity of making bread.
Intuition is at a premium right now for us teachers. We came into the new school year with our intentions honed. Since then, we’ve been shepherding our students with the single-minded focus of Border Collies, clarifying the general direction, rounding up stragglers, keeping the herd more or less together, chasing away predators, nipping at the heels of those who insist on not cooperating, and generally doing our best to help everybody in our sphere of influence get home in one piece.
Trust your intuition right now.
Grounding ourselves is the way to restore balance, sanity, and focus. Don’t worry about setting clearer, better, more stringent goals for the next term right now. Just let it all drop away.
Trust your intuition’s guidance right now. Trust that you are in cycle, but that this cycle is only temporary — and it’s a natural part of the process. Trust that your students need you to reclaim your basic sanity and health so that you can help them learn how to take good care of theirs. Sleep, cocoon, bake bread, read a trash novel, meditate, do yoga, go for a long walk, and then sleep some more.
Just for a couple weeks, give your mind and body a break.
Take one intractable, stupid, nagging problem that’s been bugging the crap out of you and throw it away.
And your psyche will renew itself.
(aka @cheesemonkeysf on Twitter) — oops
You can always rent from my parents, if you want access to a car while you’re home. (Seriously, they’d probably charge you a dollar a day.) Then you could drive a fancy fun plug-in hybrid, AND not be dependent on your parents’ cars.
Also – taking care of yourself is so important. Watching episodes of the west wing. Eating tasty food you really like. Explore some new outside place by yourself, without pressure to spend any certain amount of time there or reflect correctly on the plants or whatever the hell it might be – but get somewhere nurturing, and accessible. I just think one thing that will help – now and in the future – is if you find things and places that feel rejuvenating where you are now, too, so it doesn’t feel like going home is the only rejuvenating option, you know? It doesn’t have to be outside, obviously. It could be a coffee shop with fabulous hot cocoa, or a little independent book store with a comfy chair in the corner where they don’t care if you read for hours.
You can think of it as preparing for when I visit, because I’ll want to see those fun unique, interesting, exploring places.