Sometimes your brain stops working…

03 Sep

A black and white icon of a teacher in front o...

"Blah blah blah blah"..."Huh?"


Hi folks,

So, I work as a teacher for my day job.  Anyone who has done this for a job before will know that teaching is not the kind of job where you simply walk away at the end of the day and don’t think about it until 9 the next morning.  It is a mentally exhausting profession in which you are always taking your work home with you.  And don’t even get me started on the holidays.

Too late, you got me started…

See, when you tell people you’re a teacher they say to you “Cool.  Great holidays, huh?”.  And, because you’re polite and don’t really want to talk about it, you say “Sure.”  But inside you’re thinking, “Looks great on paper.”

You know what I did last holidays?  I marked 100 research assignments, attended extra-curricular meetings, planned and programmed the next semester of work – hell, I even spent a couple of days at school supervising students who were completing late assessments.  Now, by no means am I saying that this is somehow equivalent to a standard 9 to 5 workload but, then again, show me an administration assistant that spends their holidays answering phones and filing.

Holiday work stems from the fact that there is never enough time to do all the work that is required of you at school – for each class you are assigned four contact hours plus 1 hour of DOTT (duties other than teaching) per week.  A full-time load is 5 classes, hence 5 hours of non-contact time per week.  In those 5 hours you are supposed to mark any assignments or homework for your set for your classes, program and plan upcoming lessons, call and conference with parents, organise excursions and any other extra-curricular activities that you are planning, complete all paperwork (and believe me teaching generates a LOT of administrative paperwork), write assessments and marking keys etc.  However, management likes to think that you aren’t doing much in your DOTT time so they tend to schedule department area, whole of school, mentor and workgroup meetings in that time.  Which means that you are actually doing all of your DOTT work at home after school, on the weekends and during holiday breaks.

This is just a statement of reality.  I’m not trying to whinge here.  Teaching is a rewarding profession.  However, it leaves my brain ruined.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been intending to finalise elements of my album but when I sit down in front of my MPC or Logic, I simply can’t muster the mental energy to even listen to my songs let alone critically reflect on them.

Does anyone else have a job that leaves them mentally drained?



Posted by on September 3, 2011 in Uncategorized


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2 responses to “Sometimes your brain stops working…

  1. sonnywilkins

    September 7, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    Teachers don’t get enough credit. Over in the next state over (Wisconsin) of where I’m from, there was that huge hubbub about collective bargaining rights for teachers. The governor basically tried to end CBRs completely. It seems like a very, very challenging job (unless you don’t care, but you can not care to make any job easier). I very likely WILL have a mentally draining job in the future: Air Traffic Control. That’s what I studied and graduated in college.

    • iamfg

      September 8, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      Yeah, the government here in Western Australia is permanently on the war path with regards to CBR’s (we call them Enterprise Bargaining Agreements). At the moment, they’re playing hardball with regard to review of conditions. Thankfully, the teachers union is pretty good here (although apathy amongst teaching staff is pretty high). I imagine Air Traffic Control would be a pretty high stress job, too.


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