I’ve got to be at the school for nearly 10 hours on both those days, and it really takes its toll. Sitting at a desk all day is easy, and you don’t feel it as much at the end of the day. When you’ve got to be standing up for most of the day, and moving and jumping around and whatever other theatrics that you need to do to get those kids to do something, you’re going to be tired.
It’s even worse if you’re subjected to little children for most of the day. Listening to kids scream for hours on end will take it out of anyone. And if you’re constantly dodging kids in the hallways as they run swiftly past you, well, you’re going to have another reason for a headache if you didn’t have 100 already.
So what can you do?
Well, there are many things you can do to make sure your weekends aren’t all-tiring.
- Eat: Lots of people make the mistake of only eating lunch when they’re working 10 hours or so each day. You’ve got to have some kind of light snack, or better yet, a second meal, around 3-4. Getting through those last two hours is often the most difficult, and an empty stomach doesn’t make it any easier.
- Retreat: Get out of your school. Whether that’s a short walk around the block or a complete relocation to the coffee shop down the street, just getting out of the school and the chaos that dominates it will be a great way to gain your sanity back, even if just for a few moments.
- Delete: Erase those students from your memory. As soon as a class is over, don’t overanalyze it, and don’t think about how certain students are doing. Move on to the next class, and if that was your last, start thinking about next weekend. You don’t have time to focus on each individual student, not when you have 200. I try to remember their names, and I’m pretty good at it. If you can do that, consider yourself an above-average ESL teacher.
Try some of those things on your next full weekend of classes. I’d write more but I’m pretty beat from my day. Hopefully not so much that I delete this post, however.