Sunday, November 12, 2006

A teacher's worst enemy

In my five years of teaching, I've found the enemy, and the enemy is me. Well, sort off. Actually, the enemy of the teacher is lack of sleep. This week was one of the hardest to manage in a long time, and it wasn't because of kids or parents, it was the 4-5 hours a night of sleep. What's causing it? Prepping for Model United Nations Workshop, the beginning of basketball season, the usual lesson planning, and prepping Mock Congress for two government classes.
So what exactly does a lack of sleep do to a teacher?

First of all, it makes waking up every morning a nightmare. The first thought that went through my head at 5:15 a.m. was "Holy God, I just went to sleep". This is not the most positive way to start the day.

Then there is the massive amount of food that I eat (stress eating) and coffee that I drink. Peppermint frappachinos have became the overwhelming coffee of choice this week. Add to that the two fast food burgers I ate for dinner twice this week and it all equals 10 extra pounds and bad acid reflux.

Dumb mistakes are made in class when sleep is at a minimum. I would call correct answers wrong in a Jeopardy review. I'd have massive trouble spelling really easy words. Finally, I'd forget to do basic things in the classroom, like grading certain papers, filling out forms, and updating my attendance sheets. Of course, all this mistakes means even more work for me later on.

Finally, the classroom management issue becomes glaring when I'm tired. Every little thing that is usually a simple annoyance now became a severe irritant. Add to that my naturally sarcastic attitude and we had a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the one incident that occurred was minimal and cooler heads prevailed.

Thankfully, this weekend was a three day weekend, which isn't much of one with 4 hours of basketball a day. However, I'm all caught up with grading and prepping for the week, making the week of sleep deprivation a thing of the past.
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