My own worst enemy. (pt 1)


Something occurred to me this week... It has been before Christmas since I have really felt well. A busy term before the holiday really knocked the stuffing out of me, and I have been playing catch up ever since. Now don’t get me wrong , this is not a moan. I enjoy my job and love being a teacher. I have no undue pressure put on me other than that which I place on myself.

In the words of Mr Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later [makes squish gesture]

I’ve always had this approach to teaching, full on or nothing. I give myself projects to do. Having met so many inspirational people via twitter, I have picked up so many ideas I want to try. Just because they are so fantastic and I know will impact on my children’s learning in the best way. This is leading me to stretching myself thinner and thinner. I know it is wearing me out and making me ill. I just don’t want to and possibly can’t stop.

Since Christmas I have had a chest infection and cold. I know I should go to the doctor, yet I tell myself I’ll wait until half term. There is too much to do (Data, meeting, inset, training, and clubs not to mention the day job). My classroom cupboard resembles a small version of a famous high street chemists, with Lemsip and pastilles forming part of my balanced diet.

So why haven’t I been sensible and done the right thing by visiting the doctors, resting and getting myself well? After all that is what I know I SHOULD do. I guess the answer is complicated, including the inability to get an appointment outside of school hours, my stupid macho need to “carry on”. The truth? My own insecurity, that if I do I will somehow be failing my pupils, colleagues and profession and letting them down. As @teachertoolkit once described in a blog, I am playing the archetypal “guilty teacher”.

So what? I need to give myself a break. I can see echoes of my situation now to that of my father (another workaholic) who pushed himself so hard by working during the day lecturing in the evening, volunteering as a first aider and a Motorsport marshal, all while juggling a young family. Sadly, he had a heart attack before thirty, and although I am happy to say he is alive and healthy (ish) now it has taken him until nearly sixty to realise he needs to slow down.

Author Profile

Tim Head

Tim Head

I'm a teacher, Father, football fan and geek.

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