It wasn’t until I saw the words printed in Stroud’s book, that I felt legitimised in the way I often come to feel during the year, particularly towards the end of term.
The word tired just doesn’t cut it. I’ve been tired before. Everyone has. I’ve had a newborn who wakes several times during the night. I’ve had jobs that have involved long hours. I’ve had early starts and late finishes. But nothing quite compares to the tiredness I have experienced as a teacher.
Watch: A thank you to teachers, everywhere. Post continues below.
Teacher tiredness is different. It’s on another level. It reaches every inch of your being because every inch of your being goes into your work.
The tiredness is a result, I think, of the layers of complexity to the job, which takes a mental, emotional and physical toll. The trifecta of tiredness, so to speak.
Teaching, especially young children (maybe older children too, but I can’t speak to this experience as my teaching experience has only ever been with young children), is unique in what it requires of you.
You need to be mentally present in order to plan and deliver the curriculum, you need to be physically fit in order to stay on your feet, move around and participate with the children, and you need to be emotionally available to the children who are still in the process of developing their own emotional regulation skills.
It’s all encompassing and totally consuming on every level.
Teacher tiredness really is no joke. I was speaking to a friend via text recently who is in her first year of teaching and she told me that the night before she had participated in a sleep study because her doctor thought she might have narcolepsy.