April 15, 2014


Sometimes I think that I tend to minimalize what I do.  I act like, "Oh, school's school.  It's what I do..it's not really a big deal".  But it is a big deal.
When I made the vow to become an army wife, teaching definitely became second on my list of priorities.  It became second not because I didn't want a career, but because we were moving around; finding reputable work isn't easy!

Especially during deployment cycles, I tended to minimalize my job.  "Of course I can take block leave…it's only 2 weeks.  I'll just do unpaid leave and that's that."  And I did.  Twice. And it took me a month to plan for 2 weeks off each time.  But I never made a big deal about it because Scott and our time together took precedence when the army was involved.

So, now, when the conversation comes up with family and friends, my job doesn't always appear to be *that* hard.

The truth is that it's really hard.  I mean, REALLY hard.  You saw my day-in-the-life post a few months ago.  I never actually get to stop.

I suppose the point of all this is that I need to start being easier on myself.  Truth: I don't do physical labor.  Truth: I don't have an hour commute to work.  Truth: I don't commit to extra-curricular activities at school.  There's no need for that.  But truth: I work really hard.

I often feel like I complain about work a LOT.  Like, a lot-a lot.  Scott has, most of the time, worked much harder than me at his job.  Therefore, it's really unfair to complain to him about work being hard.  He's spent the better part of 4 years working 12-15 hour days. However…my job is physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing.  It's also all I've ever known, unless you want to count bartending. So I'm used to it.

I'm starting to really feel the stress and the crunch of the end of this year.  I've never felt this before. In Alaska, the end of the year was always exciting, enjoyable, and I always powered through, often printing/copying my 1st week of school materials by the end of May, so I'd have them ready to go on my desk in August.  I was die-hard.  And you know, I always believed that teachers made an honest living, but I've also heard an awful lot of people say they make too much money.  That they don't work hard enough.  That it "must be nice" to be a teacher.  Sure, it's nice.  Most of the time.  Just like your job, random commenter, is probably "nice" too.  It pays the bills after all.  Most of them.

I'm trying to eat healthy, exercise, and spend appropriate time with friends because, really now, we are leaving this place in 2 months.  The physical symptoms of stress are present at this point. I've also been trying to keep the house clean and reading voraciously; both books and blogs (Have I read your blog? Yes.  Have I commented?  Probably not.)

It's a fascinating balancing act and I'm failing miserably.  I can say for certain that this transition year in Missouri has been harder on me than I thought it would be.

I suppose the point is: Don't let yourself tell yourself that you don't work hard.  The more you do that, the more you might start to believe it.

(I thought maybe one of those "Comparison is the thief of joy" quotes would fit in well here.  Then I thought that I don't want to compare myself to other blogs.  A dog picture is always appropriate.)


  1. Teachers work hard and elementary teachers are a special brand of tough.

  2. I remember your day post and it still blows my mind. You DO work hard!!

  3. I always said teaching is one of the few jobs that is truly a vocation. Not just anyone can do it!

  4. I think I have told you before, I almost became a teacher. I went through observations at three different schools, and each teacher was a miserable individual, and it made me feel terrible. I have since known friends that were teachers and quit that profession. I know it is hard, and definitely give yourself credit for that! I have a hard time trying to balance it all, and my job isn't even difficult, it just takes up 8.5 hours of my day!

  5. Teaching is no joke -- and then to throw a move in there right at the end -- whew! You're doing great. You're almost to the end! :)

  6. I know that some teachers probably have it easier than others, but after getting to know some ACTUAL teachers (not just the ones I had in school), I can say it's a lot harder than a lot of people think it is. You, a really good friend, and my sister are all teachers for different age groups (my friend teaches kindergarten and my sister teaches junior high) and each age group presents different challenges. From what I hear it's a really rewarding job, but not for lack of hard work.

    I don't think ALL teachers deserve a gigantic paycheck (I've seen some pretty crappy/lazy teachers in my day who really are in the wrong profession) but if I could give the ones I currently know a huge pay raise, I totally would.

  7. I feel like minimalizing your job seems to come easy to certain personalities, while other personalities make it seem like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. I've known other teachers like you who work very hard and very long days and seem to be able to take it all in stride, and I've also known teachers whose only joy in their job seems to be talking about how difficult it is.
    Kind of like I've met nurses who can only talk about what a challenging and stressful job they have, and then I've met Angel, who comes home every day and says, "It was work, it was easy." The details of dealing with crazy patients don't make it sound easy to me but I really admire the balance of being able to admit that your job challenges you without finding your primary identity in complaining about the challenges of your job.

  8. I think teachers work their butts off. Most of my friends are teachers, and I see just how many hours they put in at night and on the weekends. Plus all the crap you deal with from parents and administration. It is not an easy job. I admire teachers.

  9. Having been a teacher, I can attest to the fact that it's the hardest job I've ever done, and it wasn't even fulfilling (which is how I knew it wasn't my bliss). It's all encompassing and anyone that says differently or minimizes it because you "get summers off" is stupid. Teachers need summers to (1) see their kids and family and (2) sleep, recover, and be ready for the onslaught. You're an amazing teacher Kristin! I only wish you could teach here so Jordan could be your student. :)

  10. People totally don't understand how hard is it to be a teacher. I may not work 12 hour, physically taxing days like Scott, but there are days that I come home from work and can barely function. I lose sleep over students I worry about, issues with parents, and the list of things I still need to accomplish the next day. Most people leave their work at work. We bring ours home every day, whether physically or mentally.


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