Education Opinion

Day of Rest

By Hanne Denney — November 20, 2005 1 min read
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It’s Sunday night, and I feel great! I think to myself. Then I have to ask, Why? Uh oh, guilt sets in as I recognize my mindset. I feel great because I don’t have to teach tomorrow! What kind of a teacher would say that, even if only to herself? And here I am saying this publicly, that I am happy I am not teaching tomorrow.

This is a confession. Here it is: I am tired. I work so hard, and teaching is stressful. So this week, when I don’t have to teach students, I am relaxed, rested, and unstressed. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for ten is no big deal. Teaching 80 students for 258 minutes in three periods five days in a row, now THAT’s stressful.

Usually Sunday afternoons are a time to read textbooks, plan the week’s learning, differentiate materials and assessments, create graphic organizers or notes, check for supplies. As the day wears on I find myself growing stressed, worried about not having enough time to do what I need to do. Sunday evening I clean out my “teacher bag” and get ready to go, very early. I fill my weekly calendar with notes about meetings and to-do lists, those jobs I couldn’t get done on the weekend. Usually my Sundays don’t allow much down time.

Today, I spent my Sunday in a day of rest. I read the morning paper, cover-to-cover. I raked up leaves outside, and took a long walk in the afternoon sunshine. I chatted on the phone with my daughter, and cleaned the living room. I cooked a nice dinner. I watched a football game without holding a textbook in my lap. It was nice. The day seemed long, languid, and lovely. Didn’t have to worry about what I am doing tomorrow. Tomorrow our faculty is attending an all-day seminar. I get to be the student, not the teacher. I’ll learn something new, and don’t have to prepare anything!

I like teaching, and I hope I don’t sound whiny. I like preparing lessons: I find the process of lesson planning both creative and intellectually stimulating. I just feel like there’s never enough time to do it right.

I am thankful that I have a lot of support in my school, from administration, mentor teachers, media and technology specialists, department chairpersons. I am thankful especially for my fellow teachers, who share everything they have and hold me up when I am tired and stressed.

But mostly, this Sunday evening, I am thankful because I am not teaching this week. Enjoy the holiday!

The opinions expressed in Ready or Not are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.