Hitting the Wall

It’s official.  I hit the proverbial “wall” sometime in the past seven days which is why there have been no posts to this blog since last Wednesday, October 6th, 2010.

In the past week, I’ve wrestled with the following items.

  • Donating a pint of blood last week with my men’s group (not a problem normally except when combined with the next two items);
  • Experiencing a spike in family strife due to ongoing communications challenges;
  • The onset of a nasty cold / sinus infection which is still hanging on;
  • Missing 3 days of student teaching and 2 days of program classes;
  • My adolescent development case study student discontinuing his participation and now I’m 4 weeks behind since I need to start over with another student – luckily, I’ve found one that will be very cooperative;
  • My wife and kids being away at Disneyland all last week – I missed them;
  • My eldest son passing out this past weekend and now needing to see a pediatric cardiologist to figure out why;
  • Falling behind with the avalanche of readings in my program’s classes,
  • Not completely understanding the mechanics involved in assessing an entire class for understanding and sense-making via a class-wide assignment or creating a rubric that facilitates my analysis or student self-assessment (have a slightly better understanding after last night’s class though);
  • Struggling to develop a “Group Worthy” task for a Math Analysis class wrapping up a chapter on trigonometric functions (made a breakthrough with my group partner yesterday leveraging an idea from a College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) problem for inverse trigonometric functions);
  • Having an intense discussion with someone auditing one of our program classes helping him understand how he failed to self-monitor in our group and definitely exceeded his boundaries annoying both me and my group partner while wasting our time and delaying our efforts;
  • Trying to stay one lesson ahead of my AP Stats class so I can effectively co-teach the class and coming up the learning curve on TI graphing calculators which were way past my time in high school on one hand and way too cumbersome from what I’m used to using on the other hand;
  • Keeping a positive attitude at all times, in spite of all of this exciting stuff happening around me, especially with certain students who can challenge the hardiest of souls, at times;
  • Completing whatever written assignments were due in my program’s classes;
  • Preparing the last touches for two supporting roles in my annual men’s retreat which occurred this past weekend; and
  • I’m sure I left out a couple of things like trying to be a husband, father and friend in my spare time.

Wrestling with all of these this past week, I ran headfirst into the wall, or over the cliff, or whatever other metaphor is appropriate.  I am more than exhausted as a result.  It is time for a break but none is on the calendar until Veteran’s Day.  Come on holidays!!

Whether coincidental or not, my practicum instructor and placement director mentioned that teachers traditionally ran into this wall about this time of year, about two months into the fall semester.  I sense that many in my cohort are in a similar state of mind.  Whew, teaching can drain you of your energy in a big way.  Who says teachers have it easy??

But it’s all good!





About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Secondary math teacher teaching math intervention, algebra 1, honors precalculus, and AP Calculus AB. I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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2 Responses to Hitting the Wall

  1. zshiner says:

    I can’t speak to personal matters, but when it comes to the credential program I can tell you that everyone is in the same boat on the spectrum of overwhelmedness. If we use the metaphor of balancing scales then it seems pretty clear that the maximum wait has been exceeded on both sides.

    Also, Mr. Math Teacher – you know your name is in your profile, right?


    • Dave says:

      Hi Mr. Z. Good to know I’m not alone, I think…and, yes, I do know “Dave” is on my profile…I liked “Mr. Math Teacher” better than “Mr. Dave” though…thanks for looking out for me…


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