At a meeting the other day, someone made the point that teachers are always overwhelmed at the start of the year. It’s true, the beginning of the year brings many changes: new programs, new procedures, sometimes new people. We are given vast amounts of data and told to evaluate it. We are asked to implement a new testing policy or homework policy, thereby forcing us to rethink our own classroom policies. We are told that the computer program we used last year, the one that took us a whole year to learn to use effectively, is now being replaced by a new, better system that will take us another year to learn and we start to wonder if there is a real point to learning it since the odds are we getting another new one next year. And our planning time is slowly whittled away by record keeping, meetings, mandatory trainings and district assessments.
Oh yeah, then there’s the students you have to teach that come to you with their own agendas…none of which have been addressed by any of the other meetings, trainings, computer programs or district assessments.
It got me thinking…is this true? Is there a sinking feeling that teachers get at the beginning of the year because of all the “new”? And is that feeling one of being overwhelmed not one of being overworked?