Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chapter 24: In Which the Writer Comes to an Understanding about Personal Stress Levels and How They Can Negatively Affect One's Social Life

Holy overload, Baman! This has been a crazy couple of weeks, and will continue to be so. We had a week break last week for Chinese National Holiday. We went up to Beijing for a teacher conference. The day after we got back, we took a staff retreat to Weihai on the north side of the peninsula. Fun, but really busy. And not allowing time for getting my teaching stuff done.

And hooray! This coming weekend we have another trip around the province. With the quarter end next week, I'm starting to wonder why the timing was so close for all of these trips. . .

BUT, even though it's stressful, I'm enjoying my students a lot, and one of the main reasons for my stress is that I'm taking the time and effort to make my teaching more effective (which is rewarding).

At the Beijing conference, a good friend shared about stress as a first year teacher here. He mentioned that we all have a certain amount of stress that we can handle and when that overflows, we snap. The stress overflows. For me, that comes in the form of me dumping mounds of frustration on whoever happens to be within earshot (not a fan of this personal characteristic).

I can sense that I am too close for comfort to that stress line. It might be time for me to take a step back and do that which I hate to do: say no.

I'm not the kind of person that easily says no to social events. In fact I have to basically be at the point where I currently reside (at the borderline crush-your-spirit-and-hopes-for-life stress level (that might be a bit over-dramatic)) to even think about saying no when someone wants to do something.

But I think that the next week and a half will be a time not of sharing laughter and joy around a dinner table, but of sitting down and powering through the stacks of papers that have been building up (That's right. I'm a bad teacher. I don't hand my students' homework back immediately.), planning lessons that still reach every student, and writing a report card paragraph about every. single. student. Uffda*.

*The spell-checker for Blogger clearly isn't from Minnesota. Also, I have taught this word to four Chinese people.

1 comment:

  1. And one foreigner.

    Crush-your-spirit stress, knot-in-the-stomach exhaustion...we who love joy and laughter and hate to miss out, must do better at saying, "No, thank you."

    Sigh. Will I ever learn?


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