medical leave

Mental Health Day = Medical Leave

When I Just Can’t Cope

I’m currently on a brief medical leave from my day job because I just can’t cope. I’m trying to avoid a complete breakdown. Having bipolar affects multiple aspects of life, and maintaining a job is one of them. I just can’t seem to complete all the necessary tasks…at work or at home. My energy and mental capacity dwindles throughout day. I’ve received emails at work telling me where I’m slipping; however, I’m slipping more than they realize. I awaken at 4:45am and leave by 6:10 to avoid monstrous traffic, and I’m home again before 5:00. Then, I have more work to do, of course, because a teacher’s job isn’t just during school hours. School hours are for teaching and meetings, yet by noon I begin to struggle. After typical work hours, it’s time for more parent contact, lesson plans, grading, and ancillary paperwork. And, lesson plans are not just a lesson plan a day… it’s four lesson plans per day due to the types of classes I teach; that’s twenty lesson plans per week. Continue reading “Mental Health Day = Medical Leave”

Bullying affects self-worth

Bullying is an Attack on Self-Worth

*a revised repost

Bullying Is Not New.

“There’s so much complaining about bullying these days. Kids just need to toughen up.”

I’ve heard that numerous times. It’s not easy, though.  Being the target of relentless bullying wears you down. Yes, as a child, I was bullied. I believe it began with a girl named Betsy. She was such a cute little girl, with an almost angelic countenance, and she was my friend.  One day, maybe age ten, she was over at my house to play.  Of course, back then there was no internet…we actually interacted face to face. She was a fellow classmate and a member of my Girl Scouts troupe.  This particular day, though, her behavior transformed before my eyes. Continue reading “Bullying is an Attack on Self-Worth”

Students Make Teachers Drink

Stuff Students Say

Beware the gab.

I have taught English and literature classes for twenty years. Private and public schools, grades 6 through 12. It’s a demanding job, most of the time more demanding that this anxiety-ridden teacher can handle. Usually, I can contain it during a workday. Every now and then, though, it takes hold and all I can do is to speak as little as possible and focus on breathing in order to not snap.

This week, I had an afternoon where my anxiety became debilitating. So, after providing assignments to my 14-year-old scholars, I sat, attempted to control my breathing, and attempted to hold onto my sanity.

After listening to my students during these moments of controlled breathing, I decided to type some of the phrases and conversations I was hearing around my classroom. I set my focus on the breathing and typing.

So, for your amusement, here is a list of mutterings…

Continue reading “Stuff Students Say”

Mean Bully

Bullying or Just Plain Mean?

Does It Matter?

“Does anyone have an iPad charger I can borrow?” he asked.

“Yes, but not for you,” she quipped.

This brief conversation took place on a Friday afternoon during a class of 9th graders, words spoken in front of all their peers.

Such a simple conversation, yet no hesitation that those words can hurt. The young boy did an immediate about face and left the classroom.

Our school had implemented a new character education program at the beginning of this academic year entitled Rachel’s Challenge. Rachel Scott was an amazing young lady who treated everyone with kindness and knew she would someday have an impact upon the world. Her life ended abruptly when she was the first of several shot and killed in the Columbine School Shooting on April 20, 1999. Continue reading “Bullying or Just Plain Mean?”