At the beginning of the year, I started a new job in a new district. While this has definitely been a positive move overall, it (like most things in teaching) has not been without it's challenges and adjustments. During my first meeting with my principal to discuss my progress and how the year was going, I admitted that I was happy but there were definitely times of feeling overwhelmed. As realistic as anything, she simply replied that if I wasn't feeling stressed in this job, I was probably doing something wrong.
A few days ago (and many months after the original incident) a fellow teacher at another school in another district entirely told me almost the exact same story about her own interactions with her administrator. In fact, I don't think I've ever met anyone in the education world who has ever made a secret of the fact that our job asks us to go above and beyond social norms when it comes to the amount of work involved, as well as when and where that work takes place (i.e. ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE).
In a world where my commitment to my students is unyielding and in a career where the importance of smarts is rivaled by the importance of heart, it is easy to lose yourself in the "job" (if you can even call it that, sometimes I just call it "my life".) I've had numerous conversations with other young teachers who fear that they'll sacrifice their own chance at a social life/family life because of the amount of effort that it takes to truly be a quality teacher. Indeed it is a concern that I share.
This post doesn't come with a solution or a neatly wrapped ending. It actually just leaves me wondering, "How then can we be super-human and achieve everything without losing...something?