It’s very nearly the end of the year, 6 more teaching days to go (17 teaching hours to be even more precise), and then that’s it until the New Year! This past week I’ve found myself feeling more and more exhausted and (more) stressed (than usual). Take today for example, I wasn’t even teaching but right now it is only 19h44 and I am very much ready to sleep until my flight home.
Of course, I’d love not to a) sleep for the remaining 10 days and b) be a grumpy-arse to everyone/thing for the foreseeable future so I decided to cure myself – and who better to help answer all my questions than the trusty google and, more specifically about.com. I found a great article dedicated to end of year stress suffered by teachers and am going to take heed of the advice, particularly the following;
“Do not try to accomplish too many tasks in one day.” I’m going to do all I can but not anything more. I’m always trying to do everything all at once and it gets me down so from now on I will accomplish what I can, when I can.
“Relax, through stretching and exercise.” Rather than sitting in my room, watching French television trying to train my brain to understand as much French as I can, I’m going to try to get out. I walk a lot and get my exercise in doing that, I enjoy it and occasionally I take myself on little walks to La Cité and relax with my book, I’m going to make that more frequent.
“Give yourself positive messages.” I’m my own worst enemy, I know it, but there’s nothing I can do to stop the bully inside of me pushing me too harshly to get things done. I think it’s time that I expel this bully and give myself some TLC. Why do I need to put myself down to make myself do things? I’d do them without the put-down, I guess I just feel that it’s the most effective way – I’m going to stop though, and rather than push myself I’m going to guide myself!
I think that one thing us assistants need to remember is that, whilst we definitely do not share the same responsibilities as real teachers, we are exposed to some of the same stress factors; too much work (especially for those of us that are still tied to our university through essays throughout our year abroad), unclear expectations (each school uses us differently and it’s hard to remember or even just know how you’re needed within the classroom) and of course the stress of the excitable 6 – 11 year olds that dictate and disrupt our attempts to teach them.
The 2 week Christmas holiday will be a holiday unlike no other for me. I will be as lazy as I can manage whilst trying to fit in festivity and catching up with my loved ones. They will definitely be battery recharging days for me.