I've noticed an odd phenomenon among teachers. It seems like you never really end up with more energy or time for yourself. Sure, the job gets easier when certain things become second nature, especially classroom management. But as you spend less energy on these things you divert the surplus to other areas. Whereas a beginning teacher might leave school as soon as the day ends, utterly exhausted, later when they have extra energy at the end of the day they find themselves staying an extra hour or two, organizing field trips, creating after school programs, joining school committees...

Of course the phenomenon I'm speaking of generally is something I've noticed in myself. There's this strange sort of symbiosis developing between myself and the school. Without meaning to I've been leaving closer to 5, closer to 6. Meanwhile I've set up an after school newspaper club. After wondering how anyone could stand to stay in the building more than 15 minutes after dismissal I'm just looking for new ways to spend my time and energy. And it's a good feeling.

When you stick around later you see some good things happening in the building. I know I've learned so much from watching veterans during school hours. Now I'm learning by seeing what they do after hours. The work is never really done. And it doesn't look to ever get easy. It's just a matter of how you spend your time and energy.


Marcy said…
I am glad you are experiencing good things.

There are certain days of the week when I stay later. However, I have found that I function better at home, and, I have to have something left over so that I have the physical and emotional energy I need for my personal life.

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