Friday, 19 July 2013

The 6 week holiday - Tired, but still so wired.

Yesterday our school closed for the summer

Today, I am at home with no lessons to teach, no lessons to plan, no issues to sort.


Less than 24 hours ago, life was hectic; now, life is empty.

Yesterday was constant interaction with students and colleagues buzzing from place to place, today is an empty house. My body so tired, each move is an effort. My brain all fuzzy and empty.

I have just dropped my own children at school and other parents have said how lucky I am.  I feel anything but.

There on the right. That's what I feel like.

Teaching is mentally and physically exhausting. In term time I am consumed by teaching, planning, marking, event organising, counselling... I could go on. My job dominates my life.

This gets close to what I feel my job is like...

I was all of those things yesterday and today, I am... what?

Tell anyone what you do for a living and they comment on the holidays.  The vast expanses of time.  The lavish holidays. That luxury of youth, but no... it's not. Not quite.

It will take me until next week at least to feel even near human and in that time, I will become ill and, unaccustomed to not being completely physically drained by the days work, I will lose the ability to sleep - even though I'm shattered.  So, so very tired.  It's a truth universally acknowledge by teachers, but rarely noted by others. 

I will struggle to know what to do with myself and become irritable and difficult to live with.  I will.  I have already been difficult to live with as I pushed myself to keep working right to the end.  We performed a show to year 7 yesterday, then we got the whole of year 9 to sing to the tutors who were leaving our school.  Right up to the moment school closed.

The massive change from yesterday to today will make me feel low; it is simply difficult to deal with - what do I do? Without the crushing pressure of work filling every spare moment, I simply don't know what to do with myself. I don't have hobbies or interests - I teach.  If I read, I read about education. If I am on the internet, I read teacher blogs or plan trips or research schemes of work - my life is dominated by my love of my job.

It was here a minute ago and now its gone...

So yes, I have six weeks of holidays, but through all the weekends I worked, through all the late nights at school, the performances, the trips, the parents evenings, the long evenings marking I earnt them.  The nights I didn't sleep for worrying.  All the days where lunchtime was a quick trip to the loo and a gobbled sarnie - mostly not even a sarnie, sometimes not even a loo break. All the holidays before this that were actually extended marking and moderating sessions.  All the term times I put family second and work first. The holidays simply make up for the intensity of work during term time - they're like compensation - and it's hardly equal.  The intensity of the work is one of the things about teaching I'd gladly change.

Until yesterday I was consumed by it all, now I am in a void and I am so darn tired that I literally don't know what to do.  Tired, but still so wired.  I don't know what to do.  Before I can enjoy the six weeks, I have sleep, get well again, try not to worry about the results, but mostly try to remember who I am.