Posts Tagged ‘tired’

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.


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It’s been a while.

I had another meltdown. Yes, another, they’re unpredictable, unforeseen and unbelievably horrible. Feeling rubbish is one thing, but feeling rubbish in an unfamiliar surrounding is worse. Okay it could be argued that Carcassonne is no longer unfamiliar, I no longer need my maps to get around, I know the cool places to go and I am now, I’m sure you’re all pleased to know, fully aware of how the roads work. So why the meltdown? The answer is, I’ve no freaking clue.  Overwhelmed? Daunted? Stressed? Or just simply tired? Maybe all of the above. I find it hard to talk to people and tell them my true feelings, always have. However, in the early hours of the other morning, I managed to muster up the courage to send my mum a text telling her I was sad and unsure why. She rang me first thing the next day to help and together we figured out what was potentially bothering me. There’s a lot to do here, I’m not just an assistant who has only assistantly duties to attend to. I have university work and erasmus grant forms to try to do – on top of lesson plans and trying to keep my own little room clean, tidy and organised. My mum calmed me, organised me and sent me on my way – of course still feeling rubbish, it doesn’t just go away like that.

So now I’m still organised, feeling a tad happier and determined. Today was a journée d’entraînment (training day) so I had no school. Instead me, the other 4 Carcassonne primary assistants and the primary assistants from Narbonne sifted through teaching resources at the Inspection Academique and searched the web for useful lesson plans. Whilst I feel the day was useful I am still very much daunted by the teaching, maybe it will get better and give me more confidence? Or maybe it will remain the bane of my life for the next 6 and a half months? I guess we’ll see.

Ce soir we went to the cinema encore. This time the film (36 vues de pic Saint-Loup), whilst having a more bizarre storyline, was easier to understand. Okay the gist of the story was lost in some places but the French was much easier to understand and I felt a greater sense of achievement.

I also feel that, whilst I’m not necessarily showing it through the medium of my oral capacity, I’m getting better at French. I can form sentences perfectly in my head, it’s just the pressure of needing to answer quickly and also fear of being judged that makes my words come out not as they are in my head. Before the words come out of my mouth I can see them in my head, I can see the correct verb endings, the correct tenses, the correct words and idioms… but as soon as my mouth is open in even the slightest pressurised environment, it comes out a great big jumble of wrong. I think I need to work on that.

One last thing before I go and essayer de dormir; someone has been smoking in my little corridor thing. I noticed the smoke smell in other places in this building but never anywhere near my room.. now all I can smell in my room is smoke. If I can still smell it tomorrow I’m telling the landlady. I know I sound like a tattle but I’m finding it hard enough to live in France already without having second hand smoke pumped through my lungs unwillingly.

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