Year: 1998-1999
Month: November
Leader: Group C

Situation/Case Study:

A new teacher has a small baby at home. On the weekends she relies on the baby's nap time to complete her work. If the baby doesn't nap, then she falls way behind both with school work and with home responsibilities. She is having trouble finding sufficient time for planning. And she feels that she certainly can't "wing it." Family time is suffering which leaves her feeling guilty. Either school or family is always short changed.

A teacher in this situation might feel... 1. overwhelmed and stressed because there is not much time for her to do all at once. 2. frustrated because of anxiety. 3. frustrated because we have limited time when we want to be super teachers. 4. harassed and guilty because of the high demand on time and conflicting needs. 5. overwhelmed yet obligated in two directions. 6. stressed because there is not enough time. 7. overwhelmed because of the sheer volume of tasks and the lack of time to complete them. 8. frustrated because she has to juggle school preparation and correcting with home life. S/he feels obligated to meet both student and family needs. 9. stressed and pressured to "get the job done," but still needs to have time for self. 10. panicked because if deadlines and schedules aren't met and kept up on consequences of being behind can happen and the teacher may also feel down on him/herself because other teachers seem to be able to handle it. 11. conflicted, frustrated because the work keeps piling up and the teacher doesn't feel like she is making progress.

Theories behind practice:
Value of assessment. Value of immediate feedback. Professional and personal priorities.

Impact on others:

1.Try to prioritize activities. 2.Delegate some tasks both at home and at school. 3.It will get better with experience. 4.Accept your limits. 5. Find successful strategies and then reuse them. 6. Allow the family to help. 7.Check tests as students are taking them. 8. Simplify assessments. 9. Keep personal cup filled!

One of the participants wrote, "My dean registered me for this class. Easy way out-- sit, not contribute." There are one or two people in the group who are quite quiet, so I don't know who might have written this. However, this same person took a lot of notes about the day's discussion. Many people took extensive notes about possible strategies for dealing with stress and workload.