"No honey, I'm fine" (Spoiler Alert: I'm not)

Hi Y'all,

So, um...I'm stressed. Like, really stressed. Notice I haven't posted in a few days? I don't always handle my stress and anxiety well. I'm able to keep my cool so people don't know how incredible stressed out I am, but that can really explode in my face. I was feeling great about my classroom and the start of the school year, until Thursday. Thursday I woke up, went to my Journeys training (which sufficiently stressed me out even more), then came home and cried. I had every intention of heading into my classroom to get more stuff done. After all, I still had A TON of stuff to do! Like, an ungodly amount. But instead, I came home, sat on my living room floor and cried. Then, after a good 15 minute sob-fest, I got up, ate my feelings, and watched TV. It was a mental-health day...but a'int no body got time for that!!!


Instead of doing what adults do, and handle it, I completely crumbled under pressure. This made me sob even more. Then I thought about how I had no help with getting my classroom together, unlike years past where I've been working with a team of 3 people. Then I thought about how much I missed my team. This made me sob more. Then I thought about how I knew what my role was at my old school, I knew the expectations, I had my classroom system down. Then I thought about how this is a whole new ballpark; a new school, a new district, a new principal, new expectations, new academics, new students, and no team. This made me sob even more. Then I thought about how much time and energy I have spent doing things for the school year, like making assessments, organizing my curricula (that I don't know how to use), posting a ton of my routines and decor (but somehow I'm still not finished), and organizing that stupid classroom library (5 days later and I still haven't finished). Then I thought about how all this time I've been spending (which is literally from when I wake up til I go to bed) is draining, and how it is really affecting my marriage. This made me sob more. Then I thought about how I don't have an answer for my husband when he asks when he can have his wife back, and if this is going to last the entire school year. Then I sob more. At this point I'm in a puddle of my own tears falling deeper into my self-pity abyss.

Let me say that I know that things will be okay. I know that the school year will start, regardless if I feel ready, and we all will survive. I know that not having my birthday board up until the 3rd day of school will not taint my blossoming relationship with my emotionally fragile kiddos, and being stressed out the first weeks of school is normal. I get this. It doesn't make me feel better. And the issue with my husband...I can't shake the feeling that this anxious, over-planning, over-analyzing version of me is not temporary. This might be me. I've never been just a teacher. I've always been a teacher, plus a student. Now that I've finished grad school and am done with tests (for the time being), this is my identity. I'm used to scurrying off to my office at the end of the day to prepare my lessons and finish school work. This was the norm in my household. And though my soon-to-be husband would grumble, and ask when he can have his girlfriend back, I would always tell him, "This is temporary. Once I get my Master's, it will be one less thing on my plate. The time I would have spent doing grad work, will now be time I can be with you!" Now I'm wondering if that is true...

I keep telling him that, again, this is temporary. "It's the beginning of the school year! All teachers are doing this! Once the school year gets started, I won't be so busy." Again, I'm wondering if this is true...

After spending all day at school on Friday, I left thinking well, at least I have until Wednesday to get everything done. Except that I don't. I can do things at home, like plan for the first week, and organizing my assessments. But who's going to finish that stupid library? Who is going to organize all the classroom centers? Who's going to put up the bulletin boards? Who is going to organize the students' materials for the first day? Not me because I can't get into the building until Tuesday. I should have thought that one through...

So while I stifle back tears, I am going to continue planning for my first week, and writing my to do list for Tuesday. Which of course won't be able to be tackled until after our staff meeting...which will last until 1pm...which I really have time for.

In the spirit of my anxiety, I will not be posting my bonus presentation until next week. I sincerely apologize - just too much stuff going on! Hopefully by next Sunday it will be posted :-/

Oh, and with all my time running around like a maniac, I totally forgot about my little giveaway! Sorry! Here's the winner!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats! I will be email you shortly so you can choose what you want from my store :)

Cheers,
Photobucket

10 comments

  1. Hang in there! It does get better. The first year at a new place is the worst. One thing I have started to do with my husband is designate one night "off" during the week. It is hard, but we chose Wednesdays as our night. I don't do anything school related once he gets home. We just spend some quality time together. I also try to take Saturday off (as much as possible) to spend the day with him. This gives me Sunday to get my school stuff done, but it keeps my husband happy...and having a happy husband makes me less stressed.
    Just a suggestion!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Find me on Facebook

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  2. So sorry you are feeling overwhelmed. It's easy for that to happen, I think. This is just me, but for myself, I have to just say NO at times to school stuff or it will just take over everything. Hope things are already feeling better - sometimes a good cry helps :)
    Sara

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  3. Wishing I lived close enough to lend you a hand. You are right, you will survive the first days and weeks even if not set up the way you desired for day 1. You are a professional BUT there is one big lesson you have not yet learned. You work to live and not live to work! Grab you husband, tell him you love him and go out for the entire day today. Trust me you will get done what you need to tomorrow. Why do you guys get locked out of your schools. We have keys and can go in whenever we want to. Maybe the stress this causes should be mentioned to your boss so things can change. Anyway caring from afar. Take care.
    Julie :-)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

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  4. You are not alone in feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It is hard to prioritize at this time of year or see the end of the to-do list. But a lot of the things on our to-do lists are not things that our students will notice or miss - they just need you. Sending good thoughts your way.

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  5. Rae,
    We're in the same boat and I feel like it's sinking too. My hubby and I always have problems around the beginning of the school year and we're going on year 8...it does get old. In my head, I think we've done this for years...doesn't he realize it takes me about a month to get adjusted? The one thing you have on your side that I don't have on mine is...youth! I am nearing 40 and the beginning of the school year is DRAINING and EXHAUSTING. Any and all extra energy and time go to my 4 year old.

    Normally my mom and sister come help me with my room, but my sister was out of town and my mom changed jobs this year and doesn't have a flexible schedule anymore. Do you have any friends from grad school who didn't get jobs that could come help you or that are still in school that could help you? Just a thought.

    If you need someone to talk to you can email me.
    Deniece
    This Little Piggy Reads

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  6. Hello! I just read your post and thought... WOW, it's not just me?!? First, do not freak out about Journeys! I do not know what grade you teach, but I sat through the Journey's training 4 years ago as a K teacher and was overwhelmed as all could be! The year started and all went great. I taught it as a first grade teacher 2 years ago and still loved it. There is a lot of information tucked into each page, but as always, pick what is best for your class!

    With everything else that you wrote I have to totally agree with you! I took last year off and now am back at the same school I was at before, but I now teach 3rd grade. I had no support over the summer as I tried to pull my room together and at the start of the year the lack of support has only gotten worse. I heard other teachers talking about me from my "team" who were more than upset that I had joined their force. I even heard, "What were they thinking putting her in 3rd grade? She needs to go back to kindergarten. There's no way she will handle the academics." Well, I started to cry. I kept crying. I cried some more. Then I realized I needed to get fired up and work my behind off to prove to these "gals" (I would love to substitute another word) that I was worth the switch. But, I stopped again. Why the heck should I prove anything to them? Instead, I decided I would continue to do exactly what I was doing and prove to myself that I am worth it. I just graduated with my masters degree in admin. and am thinking this is a great way for me to grow the thick skin I will need when I get into a leadership position. I have decided that this is a test and I will pass. Even though my husband keeps asking when we can have a date night, even though I stay up until 1AM every night (I refuse to do work while my kids are awake, so I never get started until 8 or 9PM), even though I am EXHAUSTED and miss my life as a stay at home mom... I MUST PROVE THAT I CAN DO THIS!

    With all that being said, YOU CAN DO THIS, TOO! Only a teacher will understand what you are going through, a husband can only nod his head and offer a hug ;) It will get better. Have faith in yourself and your situation and know that you are where you are not by chance, but because you are a perfect fit for your students!

    Good Luck,
    Manic Mama
    lessonplansfamilyandfood.blogspot.com

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  7. So sorry you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed! Lists, although overwhelming right now, seem to help me most. Even if they are 6 pages long, it's somehow rewarding to me to cross things off after I finish them. Other rewards: Reese Peanut Butter Flurries, eating yummy take-out in my classroom while I work, Peanut M&ms, Cookie Crumble Frappucinos, etc. Yep. I tend to eat my feelings at times too...but you can always run that off in the morning, right? (I'm actually heading out to do that now...I'll probably pass out in the middle of the street somewhere, but hey! I'm exercising!) :)
    Take care of you...and don't let that staff meeting stress you out more...it's all about the kids and you'll be feeing better once you've met them and get your teaching groove on! :)
    Jenn
    A Pirates Life for Us

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  8. Rae,
    I'm sorry you are feeling so stressed. New beginnings can be a double-edged sword...so exciting but so scary at the same time. From what I saw, your classroom looks awesome. Don't worry if the bulletin boards aren't covered or the library isn't quite finished yet. You don't have to get those completely done for the first day. Like others said, just focus on those kiddos and YOURSELF!! It sounds like you're on the right track by planning for the first week. You can always slide your unfinished projects into a closet or cabinet and pull back out this week to finish. I know, easier said than done but try to prioritize that to-do list and set a goal for the top 3 things to get done on Tuesday that will benefit your students. Try to let the rest of the stuff go.
    I hope the rest of the weekend does you good! Take advantage of the rain and grab your husband and go to a movie! Buttery popcorn and M&Ms might do the trick!!

    We are all rooting for you!!

    Stacy
    The Rungs of Reading

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  9. Hi Rae,
    My heart was just aching as I read this post because at some point I think most of us have been there. And when you read someone else feeling that way, it takes you right back there. I started really thinking about the "when can I have my wife back." For a long time, I had this mentality about myself. And I hear my sister (who has a lot of anxiety and is a teacher too) say it ALL the time about herself. She is constantly saying "Emmy-when will I be back to normal." I think that I have come to realize that we don't go back to "normal." We just evolve as we get older. Throw more stuff on our plates, change with our new surroundings--and I think that is okay. I am always telling my sister that this is just her and to accept herself. Because she is strong and she will get through each day and be better for it. Sorry to get all philosophical on you. I just know you will be okay!
    Em
    Curious Firsties

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  10. Rae, I feel for you! Having started somewhere new this week as well, it is tough. It's tough not knowing the routines and unspoken building policies, it's tough not knowing the students, it's tough not knowing the other teachers, it's just tough! But we will get through it. My mom gave me some of the best advice about switching schools and jobs she said "there will be days when you will need to shut your door and cry that first year because you miss your friends and the familiarity of where you were before. But it does get easier, you will make new friends, but remember how hard the transition was when other new teachers come into your building in the future and help them out". I have been trying to keep that in mind! We can all do it! And that also makes me thankful for the blogging community, we aren't along! We've got your back :)

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Thanks for the comments! I look forward to reading them :)

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