Teacher Guilt

“Are you doing that writing thing again?” my husband asked me from the corner of the couch where he was burried under a quilt, watching  reruns of old bicycle races on the iPad.

“Yep, it started yesterday,”  I replied as I plopped down on the couch with my bag full of all the things I brought home with me from school to work on tonight, 90 percent of which I know I won’t even look at.

Why do I still bring it all home every day, after 12 years of teaching, knowing I’m probably not going to get to it?  I overheard a colleague talking about “teacher guilt” earlier this week.  That must be what compels me to stuff my bag full of work before leaving school every day.  Sometimes I start to leave with an empty bag, or even just one or two projects, but something about having a lightweight bag triggers the teacher guilt and I find something else to throw in there before heading home. Tonight’s work includes:

  • the book on mathematical discussions that I’m reading (and behind on) for a book study
  • blank monthly calendars where I want to schedule out my studios, school events, assessment dates,  and coaching cycles for the rest of the year
  • 4th grade opinion on-demands to grade
  • the beginnings of a presentation I need to plan for a presentation on ELL supports in writing that I’m doing next week
  • 4 sticky notes with random notes about emails I need to send as follow-ups or reminders
  • a memo to read about the state language test I’m proctoring tomorrow morning

Now the kids are asleep, tomorrow’s lunches are made, the kitchen sort-of cleaned, and I have a few precious minutes to myself.  So while my hubby is relaxing and enjoying his YouTube clips, I am going to get started on my school work…as soon as I finish this post…maybe.



10 thoughts on “Teacher Guilt

  1. Did you at least read the memo regarding your proctoring gig? 😉 I have found that I will choose to not do many of the things that used to get lugged to and fro with me. I have also found that simply leaving them on my desk, ready for my return, gets them attended to. I hope you are able to let go of the guilt and make choices that work for you. (And maybe snuggle with your husband?)


  2. Yep .. the piles of papers and things-to-do … but we need breaks, too. Old bicycle races on YouTube? Hmmm. It’s interesting how our new media allows us to follow our interests into personal ways. Before YouTube, he would been out of luck!


  3. How often do we all do similar things? I know even when I’m packing for vacation or even just to go out for the day I think…. hmm better bring my book just in case I have some down time. And maybe the other one too in case I’m not in the mood to read the other one…and maybe I’ll bring my notebook in case I want to write….and…and…. and……. the bag so rarely gets opened in the end 😉


  4. Oh yes, the teacher guilt. I have it too. I also have that full bag of work that rarely gets opened. Last week, however, I had to force myself to open it and work on report cards. Tonight, I’m back to a full bag that may, but probably won’t, get opened. Teacher guilt might just have to get over itself tonight. 😉


  5. I feel the same! Hauling home the bag is just building up muscle. I usually end up doing none of the work and feel guilty when I wake up in the morning with still a bag of things to do. I have got to stop feeling guilty and just refresh instead!


  6. Indeed! I don’t know if it’s worse to bring stuff home and pile it up here, hoping to get to it, or leave it on my desk at school, hoping to get to it, or schlep it back and forth in my bag. Unfortunately, I think i do all three! Then I think I’ll get to it all during Winter or Spring Break. Good to know I’m not the only one :).


  7. Isn’t it so true!? I finally came to peace with reality about five years ago to really leave work at work and now I try to only bring one thing home if I absolutely must. Usually it is just laminate to cut while watching tv. So much less guilt! Good luck!


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