Herding Cattle is a Transferable Skill

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 24 2011

No Guilt

I’m taking tomorrow off. Why? Mental break down, perhaps? Caught the black death?

Uh, not exactly. I didn’t feel exactly 100% all last week, and it certainly showed in my classroom. By Friday, I had lost my voice and was hacking up solid flecks of neon green phlegm. I spent the weekend coughing, hacking, sneezing, and generally expelling bright green and sometimes bloody bits.

I feel generally okay; I have a voice, never had a fever, I slept 20 hours in two days, and I am prepared for tomorrow. I’m sure TFA would want me to feel GUILT for skipping out of my class. GUILT GUILT GUILT.

However. I have been in survival mode for far too long. I don’t have heat in my house because I haven’t had time to call my landlord. I feel like I’ve been generally freaked out, stressed out, or wired most days.

No wonder my immune system said ‘hey, SCREW YOU’ after months of this. If I’m going to be a success at teaching, I have to renew myself. Not just ‘relax’ on weekends by grading 55 essays, vocabulary quizes, and spelling tests EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND.

I support TFA and I love my students. However, if I need anything, I need ideas of how to successfully support myself. It doesn’t look like my school or TFA is going to do it, so…

No guilt. Taking the day off.

7 Responses

  1. CY

    Not to be gross, but if your phlegm is green it’s infected. Get to the doctor. Don’t want to get the kiddos sick.

  2. I am so sorry you’re this sick, so please do get some medical help. But I am so glad that you’re prioritizing your own mental and physical health. I learned the hard way that you ignore each at your own peril, and risk not being able to help your students if you don’t help yourself. Thanks for sharing your story & stay strong. –Andrew Pratt, DC Region, 2010

  3. Ross

    I have a feeling that Dr. Brownson’s (L.A. ’93) wellness and self care blog is right up your alley: http://www.tfanet.org/net/myportal/tfanet/teachinglearningcenter/mentalhealthmatters

  4. Ms. Math

    one time I lost my voice for three days but was otherwise healthy. That was an ideal two days off(one day realized teaching without a voice sucked)

    I went on a bike ride and climbing!

  5. Nikki K

    Your blog made me laugh! And I think it was a smart idea for you to take the day off. Even if you are feeling better you may still carry some of your sickness into school on Monday. Don’t feel any guild, in my opinion, you did the right thing.

  6. els

    Don’t feel guilty. TFA is insane sometimes. Don’t always listen to TFA.

  7. I am so sorry you’re this sick, so please do get some medical help. But I am so glad that you’re prioritizing your own mental and physical health. I learned the hard way that you ignore each at your own peril, and risk not being able to help your students if you don’t help yourself. Thanks for sharing your story & stay strong. –Andrew Pratt, DC Region, 2010
    +1

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About this Blog

Cows and children have a lot in common…

Region
Mississippi Delta
Grade
Elementary School
Subject
Elementary Education

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