Every school day, teachers everywhere arrive an hour before school starts and leave at least an hour after school ends, often hauling a bin or crate of grading or prep to complete. We spend hour upon hour researching the best methods to teach, to differentiate, to engage. We spend hours, creating, preparing, and tweaking lesson plans, activities, and assessments. At the elementary level, teachers spend hours decorating and cutting and laminating and stuffing little sandwich bags for new activities. At the secondary level, English teachers, for example— sift through, read, correct, and comment thoughtfully on 120 students’ 3 page papers (which totals 360 pages of material – for one assignment.
The first semester of this year has been particularly challenging for me in terms of balancing school and home responsibilities. Shortly after a tragic family situationthat threw my August into utter chaos, I received the wonderful (yet very surprising) news that I am expecting baby number 2 this summer. For me, this news means that I've spent the majority of the first semester exhausted and trying not to lose my lunch in front of my students. Don't get me wrong, these particular circumstances have been absolutely insane, but one thing I've realized recently is that the teacher-life balance is always hard for myself and almost every teacher I know.