Loving My Job; Hating My Work

10147_1604.jpgEven if you ignore the majority of this article, check out the last sentence.

I am absolutely loving school since coming back from Christmas Break. Even so, I am beginning to get burned out. If you want to know why, go read this. He’s still not back yet and it’s all but certain that he will not be coming back next week either. Still no clue when I can expect him.I wrote an email to my principal today, some edited excerpts follow:

I love teaching and I love rehearsing the bands, but I am very tired. The students suffer as a result. More than anything else, that is what breaks my heart about the whole situation.
It’s not that I can’t handle the workload or that I am incapable of working with the students or anything. They all are responding very well to me and I’m having more fun now than I have ever had teaching.

Though I don’t necessarily want to do it, I constantly find myself contemplating moving to another school district for next school year…

I’m not threatening to leave or anything, I am just looking for thoughts. Christmas break helped a lot. The upcoming three day weekend will help me, but I am open to any suggestions you might have for me!

He wrote me back telling me that he would try to get what help he could for me. I throw it out to you as well. What are some things I can change that will help me feel better? I realize that I could take a day off now and then, but we have all region auditions quickly approaching and we also need to focus on getting the bands sweepstakes at our UIL Concert & Sight Reading Contest in April.

As I said, I absolutely love my job. It’s not like I am up there and just dreading teaching the classes. I dread the paperwork that goes along with everything else involved.

While I am naturally an administrative-oriented person, the details are driving me crazy right about now. I want to just turn everything off, teach my classes, write my blog, and hang out with friends.

In other news, Dangerously Irrelevant has posted the Education Blogosphere Survey. I filled it out, have you?

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.

8 Comments on Loving My Job; Hating My Work

  1. Right now I am hating the work of grading papers that I assigned. That’s not really “administrative” work – it’s just part of teaching English language arts. But I seriously hate it. 97 students times 3 assignments = papers I brought home to enjoy over the “long” weekend.

  2. Wow. 97 students! I have twice that many. One nice thing about band is that I don’t have to grade papers. I do have to assign grades and ought to be listening to individual students playing more often. With the other director gone, that takes away from rehearsal time. I’m going to be doing that stuff more, but that is one of the areas that I really am not wanting to spend any time right now. I just want to teach!

  3. Joel, sometimes when I am under undue stress, I ask myself, “What absolutely needs to be done at this moment?” This means that some things don’t get done. But, if you can perform those tasks which meet the most necessary aspect of your job, then that’s what you need to do. Also, make sure that you are keeping things together in your personal life. I find that when tihngs aren’t what they should be in my work, I focus on the personal, which makes me feel better. Last, do one thing you enjoy, especially on the weekend.

  4. Miss Profe:

    I am definitely prioritizing stuff. There are no times throughout the day when nobody is in the band hall. I have a homeroom and he has a homeroom. The substitutes take care of those, giving me a lunch and another thirty minute break. We also have a couple of people who have been helping out with the mariachi class all year long. I trust them and use that time to get any paperwork that is essential taken care of.

    The percussion class is a combination of all of the percussionists from both bands. Before he left, we split it up, with him taking the students from his band and me taking the ones from my band. After he left, we combined them. This meant that as we prepared for the Christmas concert, I had to have them both in the same room and have my kids play through a piece, then his kids play through a piece. We didn’t get a whole lot of progress, as I wasn’t able to stop and fix too many problems. But we made it to where it was reasonably good. Now that all of that is over, we have them together working on the same kinds of technical studies and it’s working out fine.

    It’s great to realize that my 25 Tips For Less Stress series from October is now really being applied in my life! :)

  5. Your post reminds me of one of Miss A’s posts. The extra work load the cheer brought to her made her feel burned out, and took away her energy that she wanted to invest in her lessons. Would it be possible for you to cut back on the time you invest in the band? Maybe you could get an extra director and share the workload?

  6. I am a college student interested in teaching high school biology. After doing a little of research on teaching, I am discovering that it has its ups and downs but seeing a student grasping something difficult makes teaching worthwhile. Teaching in high school will be an adventure for me as I was homeschooled from the 8-12th. Thank you for your posting and I look forward to reading more.

    April Q.

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