Every teacher hits the November Wall
Whether you're a new teacher or a veteran, you're likely to have a burn-out moment when too much stress piles up.
You start losing steam, your students are getting restless, and the ungraded papers are collecting dust. The November Wall is real.
Here's how to knock it down.
1. Find new ways to focus without admin support
When the administrator isn't supporting you enough, teaching can be a lot less enjoyable.
The best thing to do is often staying out of your admin's way. This isn't a long-term solution, but during this busy season, you should direct your focus on your students and the work in front of you. Don't allow more things to stress you out!
2. Plan a day to catch up
The load of papers on your desk (and some on the floor) can feel overwhelming.
We know you planned to tackle it bit by bit every day. Don't feel guilty, because doing that can be difficult as well.
Here's what you can do about that pile for now. Commit a single day to catch up. Yes, it will be a hellish eight hours, but at the end of it all, that pile will disappear from your conscience. You'll feel relieved.
Don't give up and get through!
3. Contact tough parents before they contact you
November is the time where panicked parents try to tackle teachers over their children's grades.
Be proactive and contact the parents before they contact you. You can send a simple email or make a quick call to notify parents of missed assignments or poor test performance.
This reminds parents that you have the best intentions for their child and that you really do care.
4. Don't let tough coworkers rain on your parade
Teaching can feel lonely and isolating without the perfect co-teacher or BFF and feel even worse with challenging colleagues.
If you're struggling with finding teacher friends, keep looking. Look beyond your grade-level or the person across the hall. You can also look at professional organizations or online.
Friends come from an array of places.
5. Have fun in the classroom to fight boredom
Being a teacher can feel monotonous. This might be why you're feeling the November Wall.
Inject some fun into the classroom! Have a week dedicated to an interesting project. Have your students build something, plan a poetry slam, take your students on a hike, or ask for a field trip.
School is often all work, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun.
6. Start looking for other options if you lost passion
You might've had a feeling for a while that it's time to move on from your current grade, school, or job. You're not alone in wanting to quit teaching. However, now is not the time to make a big decision.
Allow yourself to have these thoughts. Look around and explore other options. You decide what's right for you. But save this important decision for when you have a clear head and not swimming with stress.
7. Boost your immune system
Sickness comes in waves that knock you down and out of schedule.
If you've been sick, take off all the time you need. Don't show up and start infecting others. Dragging yourself to work is also going to prolong your sickness. No one wants that!
Having easy habits like eating yogurt and drinking lemon water every day does a lot for your immune system. Also, ensure that you drink plenty of water, carry around a hand sanitizer, and get your flu shot if you haven't yet!
8. Give yourself a mental break
November might be when you remember how stressful teaching is. You might need a little break to re-energize and refuel.
In the next couple of weeks, give yourself a mental health day. Your class will be fine.
Sleep in on a Wednesday, get a massage, party in Target. Anything away from the classroom.