Less Stress: Don’t Take Work Home

887735_38289434I wrote a couple of days ago about a plan to reduce the amount of papers that you take home. Preferably, that number will approach zero as your systems get refined. That is NOT the focus of this entry. The goal here is to truly liberate you from your job.

The story goes:

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her.

The senior monk carried this woman on his shoulder, forded the river and let her down on the other bank. The junior monk was very upset, but said nothing.

They both were walking and senior monk noticed that his junior was suddenly silent and enquired Is something the matter, you seem very upset?

The junior monk replied, As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?

The senior monk replied, I left the woman a long time ago at the bank, however, you seem to be carrying her still.

When we leave the school, even if we don’t take any paperwork with us, too often we take our work home.

Please understand, I thoroughly love my students and I love teaching. What concerns me is when I used to spend nights lying in bed thinking about teaching. I’m sure many of us outgrow this sooner or later, but I think it’s essential for our own peace of mind to outgrow it sooner rather than later.

Personal time should be personal time. The more time we allow our jobs to eat up, the more they will consume us, and the more quickly we will burn out. Burnout is a terrible thing, especially when it means we lose the love we once had for teaching. So, in an effort to prevent burnout, we need to leave work concerns at work. I promise, they’ll be there tomorrow morning. The liberation you feel from this simple decision will be priceless!

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

5 Comments on Less Stress: Don’t Take Work Home

  1. I agree. I used to lay awake planning and planning. I sleep now. I think that kind of peace comes with experience. I was accused yesterday of telling other teachers what they had to teach but just having fun in my own class. That is just the difference that experience can make. My kids think some of the things I get really excited about are fun.

  2. @Barb – Haha, I think it’s probably at the top because it is one of the most effective ways to combat stress. I prefer the taste of Ozarka or Aquafina bottled water over most other brands I have tried. At least the low-end brands.

    If you work from home, obviously you have to bring work home. But you can confine it to certain hours and/or certain areas of your home. It’s a psychological thing too. Did you read the story quoted in the article above?

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