Monday, April 8, 2013

Mental Health Day

I used to think it was pretty funny that my dad got Mental Health Days.  He was a teacher, for the longest time a French teacher, and finished his career as a grade 8 teacher (usually with a 7/8 split because of the tiny school he was at).  And once in a while he’d just take a day off to do the things he liked to do.  He was never one to miss work, I think in all the years that I can recall he might have been actually sick enough to miss work a dozen times.  When he retired he had loads of banked sick days. So a day off once or twice a year must have been nice.

I say I used to think it was funny because how much work could it be to be a teacher?  I have been at school, it didn’t seem all that hard for the person at the front to give out work, and keep the rowdys under control.

My god do I know the difference now!

Today for me in fact is a ‘Mental Health Day’.  I am not sick (though my neck is killing me!) but I just needed an extra day off, especially with doing CPR all day Saturday.  I have been a bit stressed out at work, which seems odd because I do get to draw and colour and stuff all the time.  But being a teacher in any setting, school, karate, daycare is not nearly as easy as the people who are good at it make it look.

Teaching, and especially teaching children, takes an enormous amount of energy.  you have to give energy out, you have to be able to absorb it from others and you have to be able to control the energy of the room.  At times I have felt like I am in the zone while at work and that is when the job is easy!  Other times, and most recently, I have felt like I am fighting it all day.  I have to be able to find that zone again where things just roll.


  1. I am not a teacher, I work in the mental health profession and I LOVE my mental health days. We get 2 MH days and a "floating holiday" a year. I used to work in a group home for foster kids and we didn't get MH days, but we totally needed them, they are fantastic. =) Enjoy your day off!

  2. Hi Chris! Kids are just nonstop exhausting. When my own 4 kids were all young, I'd be helping one of them with schoolwork while another one was sprinkling pepper all over the birthday cake, or something like that. One year, my son screamed about 300 times per day. I felt like banging my head on the wall for that entire year. He turned out fine, btw. But yes, that hardest part of being a teacher has got to be the infernal commotion of children, and that is truly exhausting.

    :-) Marion