Saturday, November 5, 2011

What do rabid Zombie Math Teachers do all day?

Happy Daylight Savings everyone! 

As I ramp up for a free extra hour of zombie fun,   ( aka house cleaning )  
I started thinking about how much of my time is actually dedicated to teaching. Not just the physical act of teaching; but the prep involved, the meetings about teaching and the students, the parent communication, the website development/updating, the lesson planning, professional development, transportation to and from, paper correcting, and of course plain old thinking about teaching. 

The graph above was made at which has probably popped up in your search results if you've ever looked at anything funny that happened to have a pop culture reference in it. The other top site is of course where you will find a lot of cat-related humor with extremely poor grammar. I like to paste items from both sites randomly into my Smart lessons to grab the student's attention and make them laugh (thus relieving tension). 

My pie chart makes me laugh, but also makes me want to cry. Watching pay check after pay check get wasted on heating and garbage and water bills, cable/internet bills, gas, groceries and not much else... I wonder why I keep doing this! I guess because I love it. But what I truly want to know, is am I the only one? What do other teachers' pie charts look like? Especially Language Arts teachers? 

After two attempts at assigning math essays to my classes, I can thoroughly grasp just how much time Language Arts professionals spend grading papers. If they do it carefully. It is so easy to write 10/10 on a paper, add a couple smiley faces or stars here or there, or put a check mark and your initials on your paper. But kids catch on really quick to your lack of feedback, and stop trying so hard to please you. 

So how much is your time really worth!?!? Mine, taking my salary into account and dividing my teaching-related activities into it, is about $6.50 per hour. I believe that is less than minimum wage. What, then, is the magic cycle breaker to get out of this habit? Stop caring so much about my students? Stop trying to innovate and improve my lessons? Stop attending meetings where I collaborate and vent to my coworkers? Call in sick once per week to keep up? Oh wait... writing sub plans takes twice as long as being there myself. 

The only magic answer I can think of.... drum roll... SLEEP LESS. Except for tonight of course. Gaining an extra hour of sleep will probably mean I'll just stay up an hour later. Welcome back, Zombie Math Teacher.