Real Talk: Prep-time edition

Okay, boys and girls.. time for the honest truth. Most teachers get a little something called prep-time, or a prep period.  The purpose is meant to be for planning or preparation.




Let’s talk about that a minute. In theory that’s a great idea. Our profession is notorious for leaving us working well outside of school hours.  I don’t need to tell you how much we’re responsible for, and the time that it takes which we don’t have.  Especially in a position like mine where I am teaching between 8 and 10 classes per day, and they’re all different!  Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week, since you know… I have seven of my ten classes in a row with no break at all.


Bladder of steel, people!! Bladder of steel.

All bitching aside, there’s a secret as to why teachers.. at least this one.. still go home with a laundry list of work to do on the evenings and weekends.

Because prep is really for brain rest!! The kids need it, and so do we. I read an aritcle once that finally made me realize the why I, and the rest of us, always feel so drained.

Yeah, if you clicked on the little button, you saw that we make 1500 educational decisions per day! 1500!!! No WONDER being asked to decide on dinner is a fate worse than death…


Suddenly, I didn’t feel so guilty for spending part of my prep playing that iPad game I might be mildly addicted to. Don’t get me wrong; I make the long trek to my mailbox in the office, too. I catch up on school-related email, and maybe shoot a quick text to family or friends who need my attention, or run things past my principal when necessary. I just don’t usually do my prep or planning during those elusive assigned times. (It helps that our district two hours at the end of certain Fridays. I use those wisely!)  Let’s face it, by the time I’ve accomplished the above, AND remembered to answer the incessant siren attached to my bladder, the time’s about up.

I don’t always have it together, and sometimes I’m not even good at appearing that I do; but I’ve found some things that help.

  • Have dinner planned for the week! For me, my crock-pot is keeping my family and myself from becoming malnourished during this stint in grad school!
  • Pretty much EVERYTHING goes in my calendar. Everything.
  • When I know I have a big project due, I try to pace myself.
  • It’s still a work in progress, but learning to say no once in a while has saved my life.
  • I’m not effing perfect, and that’s OK! Sometimes, things get lost in the shuffle. The world is not going to implode. (This one is mostly for me to hear again.. and again.. )

The most important, I think, is to treat yourself with the same care you do your students. You can’t do much if you’re half of what you normally are. I’ve been there.




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