Back to School Stress

There are so many posts that I want to write.  I want to write about how I baked and froze my sugar pumpkins and saved the seeds.  I want to write about canning tomatoes.  I want to write about how excited I am about the Guilford fair and my entries and my family’s farm display.  I want to write about how much I like my Legal and Political Issues in Environmental Education class, which I just got back from, and how much I’m enjoying the book we’re reading.  I want to write about the new reuasable cloth sandwich wrapper that I got to get away from plastic baggies.  I want to do a challenge update.  I want to post pictures of my gardens and of the trees starting to turn. 

But I don’t have time! It seems that every day this week has been something, from a faculty meeting, to a trip to the grocery store, to my class tonight, to housework, to a wedding on Friday.  It’s not bad, but it’s just busy.  I’m coming off of two months off, where I worked a little and spent the rest of my days taking care of the house, cooking, gardening, reading, blogging and spending time having fun.  Now, going back to work has taken some time away from all of those enjoyable activities.  I still get to do them all, just not as often.

I have to say that the transition back to work has been stressful for me.  There’s a lot of emphasis on preparing students for the standardized tests coming up in the spring.  I, of course, want my students to do well, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to give them the best education that I possibly can.  By doing that, I’m stressing myself out and I know that a lot of my colleagues are feeling the same way.  The stress is exhausting and I find myself feeling really tired at the end of the school day.   I realize that I shouldn’t be putting all of this pressure on myself because it’s not benefiting me or my students, so I’m going to try to lighten up a bit.  I’m also going to try to do one thing each day that rejuvinates me or relaxes me. 

After spending the day yesterday in the greenhouse with my students, I realized just how theraputic working with plants can be.  I learned all about the calming effects of nature a few years ago when I took a course in Urban Botany, and my experience yesterday made me think more about it.  Planting seeds first thing yesterday morning left me rejuvinated, happy and excited about the remainder of the school day.  I want to point out that my students are really great, and although in the past I was stressed about student behavior, that’s not the case this year.  I do realize how lucky I am about that.

For the next week or so I’m going to try to do more of the things that reduce my stress and make me feel better.  For me, reading is really relaxing.  I can read outside in the afternoon, in the tub at night, or in bed before I fall asleep.  I also enjoy doing yoga and, while I’m not particularly good at it and don’t do it very often, I will find myself drawn to it when I’ve had an especially stressful experience.  Gardening is also theraputic for me, as is the sense of accomplishment after pulling weeds or dead-heading my petunias.  These and other activities including taking pictures, baking and spending time reading blogs can also help to alleviate the stress.  Hopefully, by recognizing what I’m feeling and what will make me feel better, I will get over this back to school stress.

11 Comments

Filed under Gardening, Home, Outside

11 responses to “Back to School Stress

  1. Marie

    Ab
    Slow down, take one step at a time and don’t forget, you are an excellent teacher, your students reap the benefits of all that you sow, each and every day. This is a very busy time of the year, it will settle down. Just take a deep breath and like Gram says, don’t worry about it, it will all work out. Look at all that you have accomplished over the summer, you are like the “green” Martha Stewart of No. Branford.!! Only 12 more days until we leave for Italy!!!!
    No worries!
    Hugs,
    Mom Marie

  2. Relax Abbie! I AM STRESSED OUT JUST READING YOUR BLOG.

    Ahem. And now I myself am getting in the bathtub, so, chill! And gimme some pumpkin seeds. The End.

  3. Ah, relax! You totally deserve it. Everything else can wait.

  4. Take a deep breath, and then do what you said. Read, soak in a tub, and relax. I highly recommend asking the hubby for a back massage too.

    And just think. When things do slow down, you will have a lot to say and share.

    On another note, it sounds like you are totally excited about what you are teaching, and I am so envious that you have an entire green house to work in and that you get teach young people how to grow things. That is just awesome!

  5. Maybe blogging is seasonal, just like gardening. This is the season when your are planting and cultivating at school. We’ll all still read your posts, even if they are sporadic. Relax and have fun!

  6. farmersdaughterct

    Marie- Thank you! And I’m so jealous that you’re going to Italy.

    Laura- Remember what I said about seeds? So pumpkins are FRUIT!

    GB- Thanks🙂 Like you a few weeks ago, I need a blogcation.

    Jessica- I do love what I’m teaching. My kids are really great this year.

    Joyce- I definitely think blogging for me will have to be seasonal, at least until winter when there’s not as much to do around here and I’ll have more time on the computer.

  7. Everyday woman

    I IDENTIFY!

  8. Nan

    My husband is a teacher, and is feeling much the same way as you. The details are different, but I think there’s just something about the beginning of school that is very intense and busy, and such a change from the summer. He always begins thinking he can come home after school and work much as he did during the summer, but it just doesn’t happen. By the time the meetings, etc. are done, and he can leave, he’s beat, the sky is darkening, he’s hungry, and the work day is done. I think all you can do is just go with that particular flow. I like what Joyce said about the seasonality of blogging. I think it’s true, and for teachers now is that time to be focused elsewhere, with weekend forays into home stuff.

  9. Ab,

    You know I identify with this! When have I ever written a post in the past of just two words? That was done on my BB on the fly, because I, too, am stressed by school–but in a good way!

    Our summer schedules have been taken over by all the demands of the school season, not to mention–the harvest season–and all the “fun” on the farm that’s associated with that!

    I’m thinking blogging is a bit “seasonal,” too and I know I won’t have the time to devote to it now that I did over the summer, but I’m going to give it my best shot! I guess it’s all about striking a balance, which I’m still striving for!

    Mom

  10. farmersdaughterct

    Nan- I agree and I’m trying to get the most out of my weekends.

    Mom- I know what you mean! I just have to get used to the lack of time again!

  11. Whatever happened to summer? It’s already a memory . . .

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