Everyone has had a fat teacher before. In fact, it is rather rare to get a skinny one, and the skinny ones you do find are either health nuts, or they haven’t been teaching very long. I remember being a prac student and looking at how unhealthy the majority of teachers were. I must admit to commenting that there must be a positive correlation between years spent teaching and weight in kilograms. Even the leaner teachers I observed looked overtired and sick. I remember being embarrassed for them and wondering why they didn’t bother to look after themselves as adults.
Now I know why.
Teaching is very very stressful, and non-teachers sometimes struggle to understand how it can be. Teaching is emotionally draining, the deadlines for creating and marking work and writing reports are continual and at the end of the day, even driving requires more brainpower than you wish to expend. Additionally, your popularity is important. Parents, students and other staff members must perceive you as reliable, competent, knowledgeable, reasonable, fair and consistent. I possess none of these attributes when conversing with people I consider to be deliberately ignorant, and unfortunately it is not only students who fit into this category.
I know there are healthy ways to burn off this stress, and in fact I usually do find healthy, helpful ways to release stress and invigorate myself for the following day. Exercise is the easiest and most effective stress-reliever and it also lifts my mood a great deal. Taking some ‘me’ time to go indoor rock climbing with friends or to attend a yoga class once a week can keep me happy throughout dealings with the the most belligerent of work refusers.
Here’s the catch: exercise DOES take time, and time is in short supply. So when I can’t manage to squeeze anything else into an overloaded schedule, I turn to many unhealthy and addictive substances and pastimes.
Keeping a blog is my new attempt at stress-relief that will not directly make me fat and poor. Again, it’s time-consuming work, but my current goal is more:
How do YOU medicate?