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Home : 2003 : Jul : 2

    To Joanne and Good luck
    By Cathy-Dee

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    I agree that there are those situations that can burn-out teachers. However there are truly some of us who for the most part really do enjoy our jobs and love teaching. I've just completed my 10th year of teaching and I'm already thinking about all the new things I want to try with my class this fall.

    I also had the opportunity to work for 10 years before going into teaching and I know that "other careers" are not necessarily "greener" on the other side.

    And someone can love teaching and still have one or two bad classes or problem students. I had that this year. I had two behaviour students who drove me crazy all year. I still love teaching but yes I was frustrated that there was so little I could do for these two boys because of lack of funding and resources. But I'd never quit teaching over something like this. Venting in the staffroom or on a chatboard or to my friends is one way I stay sane and can cope with the "harder" parts of my chosen career.

    Many people change jobs several times in the first 5 to 10 years of entering the workforce. We don't always know what we like, dislike, what we can handle, etc.,

    And if I can leave new teachers with a bit of advice this to me are two of the most important things I've learned along the way.

    1) First have a home - make sure no matter where you live that you have a wonderful home to come to and relax in. I live in an area where most teachers come here from far away and are renting housing and have very little in the way of home comforts. So they end up spending more time at school because there's nothing at home for them either and they burn out much quicker.

    2) Set aside time just for you and your family. Even after teaching for 10 years I could still spend every evening in school and most weekends because there is always something you could be creating, changing, marking, preparing. I make sure that I have at least 2 evenings off per week (other than minor planning and marking) and I take off at least one day on the weekend and at least once or twice a month the whole weekend.

    No job is more important that your emotional and personal well-being.

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