I dropped my husband, also a teacher, off at the airport this morning. He’s supervising a team of students at a week-long volleyball tournament in Melbourne. While he’s grateful for the opportunity to go on an all-expenses paid trip to the other side of the country (we live in Perth, Western Australia), the timing really couldn’t have been worse.
It’s not easy to witness your husband almost break down. It’s even harder to know that there is little I can do about it, save to wait until the school holidays arrive so we can crash in a heap and allow time to restore the energy that has been sapped through exam marking, report writing, teacher registrations and every other thing that teachers face in the last term of the school year.
After eight years of high school teaching I know only too well the sheer exhaustion faced by educators on an ongoing basis; and this year, I’m finally questioning why it should be so.
Why is it that my husband, a physical education teacher, preaches health and wellbeing to his students but doesn’t realise that the stress of his job is contributing to his levels of anxiety?
Why is it that I, an English teacher, don’t have time to enjoy the books that I am encouraging my students to read?
Why should we teachers accept stress-related break downs as an expected part of our job?
If we have slow food, slow money, slow agriculture – why can’t we have slower schools?
I want to use this space to explore the options for building a Christian school on a micro scale, with a focus on slowing down the pace of schooling. If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll continue to journey with me and share your thoughts also.