Few days are as difficult to get through as teaching after a lousy night’s sleep. 3 AM is a dark time for both the bedroom and the brain. I’ve been known to quarter an Ambien tablet and take one quarter if I wake up in the wee hours and can’t fall back asleep. It’s that, or lie in bed, thinking about all the work lying in wait a few scant hours down the road. At 3 AM, my mind often turns to the idea of a career change.
On mornings after a night of sleep-deprivation, I envy adults who go off to an office job, I’d love to sit at a desk, in front of a computer. No spastic tweens dropping their books loudly on their desks and shouting at each other. Just me and a computer screen. I wouldn’t lose my temper and frighten the children with threats of emailing parents and trips to the office. I would just stare blankly at the monitor for hours.
Teaching is stressful. I don’t think people truly appreciate how on-the-ball we have to be on a minute-to-minute basis. There is no sleeping behind a newspaper as kids work quietly on dittos. A teacher is on-stage for hours at a time, and God help you if you’re exhausted when you arrive at school in the morning.
So, to all of the people who say, “Yeah, but you get the summers off,” let’s trade jobs for a day. You’ll figure it out quickly…