My Other Stressor

May 19, 2011

Oh my goodness!!

You guys have no idea how excited I am that today is the last day of school! 😀

Summer vacation is nearly here, and I am SO relieved! It has been very stressful year for me, and I’ve thought about quitting many times!

A couple weeks ago I confessed about my dislike of living in Alaska and the stress that causes me. However, I have to confess that my job may cause me even more stress!

For those of you who don’t know, I teach elementary physical education. Many people would say this is a dream job (I sure thought it would be!)playing games with kids all day, how could that not be awesome?!?!

I am sure there are people who love being a p.e. teacher, but I am not one of them. Here’s why:

– I am an introverted person, so being “on a stage” all day is exhausting and puts me out of my comfort zone all. day. long.

– I don’t feel like teaching fits my personality or my strengths.

– I do not enjoy disciplining kids and do not like having to raise my voice at kids. (I feel horrible when I have to put on an angry face.)

– Having redirect kids all day long is exhausting.

– I hate listening to 20-25 kids yell and scream in a gym all day long.

– Teaching is so abstract that I never feel like I accomplish anything at the end of the day.

– Teaching has prevented me from traveling, which is something I love doing! One would think I could travel all summer but Craig doesn’t want to travel during the summer—we want to escape during the winter months and that only leaves a week around Christmas and the week of spring break—both times when the airlines jack up their prices about 50% because the demand is so high here in Alaska.

– I do not want to live my life for 3 months out of the year. Yes, 3 months off in the summer is wonderful but being stressed out for 9 months the rest of the year is not worth it.

– I have been sick nearly every month this school year! (The only time I get sick is when I’m stressed.)

I do recognize the good parts of my job: not being strapped to a desk all day, having the summers off, etc.—even the pay is good, but those few positives are not quite enough to make up for all the negatives.

I am not sure what I am going to do next fall. Right now I am keeping my options open though.


I honestly felt like a new person on my run this morning because I knew it was the last day of school! It felt as though a ton of stress had been lifted off my shoulders! 🙂

I covered 7 miles in 60 minutes and enjoyed the glorious morning. While it was cloudy, I didn’t even care! I took in the smells of summer, gorgeous views of the mountains, and enjoyed every step.

Tonight I am headed to an end-of-the-year celebration with my co-workers, and then I have just a few things to wrap-up tomorrow before summer vacation officially begins!




What is one thing you love about your job and one thing you dislike?

    1. SO JEALOUS! We are in school until June 9.

      Unlike you, I LOVE teaching because I love being “on stage” all day. Teaching junior high English is also much less abstract and much more structured than PE, so I do feel like I accomplish something at the end of the day (or week, or unit, etc).

      The one thing I DISLIKE about teaching is dealing with adults 🙂 Last night was Open House and I was so happy to go to work today and have to only deal with teenagers again!

      1. PE is definitely organized chaos which doesn’t jive too well with my type A personality!

    1. I love that I can work on important projects that help people, but some of the people involved are demanding and add stress that doesn’t always need to be there. I also hate doing paperwork. It just piles up and piles up. Ugh!

    1. Michelle:
      I totally get what you’re saying. I work as a small town journalist and am also a very introverted person, and I have to be on stage ALL the time. It’s been very stressful. I love my job but finally realized that life is too short to try and fit where I don’t belong.
      I put in my notice for the end of the summer. Have no idea what comes next. It’s both scary and exciting.
      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m know you’ll make the right choice. Until then, there’s a whole summer to enjoy. (Run the Turnagain Arm Trail a couple of times for me, okay? I miss that trail so much, especially the long and agonizing hill right after McHugh Creek.)

      1. I have never ran the Turnagain Arm Trail. I want to check it out now–especially for your sake! 😉

    1. Wow, I actually just switched my major (going into senior year ahh) from math education to community health. I think actually for similar reasons. I’m glad school is done for you. Seriously come travel to the East Coast. 🙂

    1. Well, I can totally relate to your feelings. Until last summer, I had worked at a law firm and I despised it. Over the past year, I’ve taken some time off to think about what I want to do and I’m actually about to start a new part-time job working as a public interest attorney. Having had the time to gain some perspective and take a step back was such a great thing, and I’m genuinely excited to go back to work doing something really different. I realized that what I hated most about my job was the stuffiness of a law firm – I just don’t fit into that kind of environment. I hope you get the chance to think about what it is you want, and eventually find something that makes you happy! And I’m sure the break this summer will be good for some much-needed rest! Good luck!

    1. I just finished my last day of school, too!! I didn’t realize we were counting down until the same day. My dislike of New Jersey isn’t quite as extreme as your dislike of Alaska, but I’m very excited to be leaving this state!

    1. Enjoyed this getting your perspective on why you dislike your job. I know you don’t enjoy being on stage. As I have told you before nothing is forever and so things change and that’s good keeps life interesting. For me I do accomplish things and have had to learn in any job while I don’t like everything about my job I will take it in perspective. Glad to hear you are keeping options open.

      The best thing I like about my job is my team members and managers they are a great group of people who work together. The thing I hate the most- not accomplishing everything and when I am behind on my work. Ugh!! It’s a battle

      I am researching a bit of things for the upcoming time with you in AK.


      1. Good thing nothing is forever because some days it seemed like the end would never come, but I always knew it would! (I felt the same way when teaching in SD.)

        You are very fortunate to work with people you enjoy working with because I know that can make or break your working experience!

        I know a job will never be perfect.

        It sounds like you and Craig are in the same boat with being swapped with paperwork sometimes.

    1. Hooray for the last day of school! Mine is June 9th… ugh.

      I worked in an Elementary School last year in literacy, and while I appreciated that everyone seemed to like me and were encouraging me to go get my certificate, I think the year really told me that I need to be doing other things. I’m SO glad I am NOT working on a teaching certificate. I think what bogged me down more than anything were the public school politics. I was also sick just about every month – and
      I can empathize with being an introvert!!!

      So I’m throwing caution to the wind and after finishing my summer block of classes I’m applying to work on a local organic apple farm as a pie baker or something like that. It just sounds simple, beautiful, and holistic. Who knew I could be earning a masters degree and just want to be a baker?

      1. Nice! Craig wants me to work at Great Harvest Bread Company!

        I think counseling also burnt me out of working with kids.

        1. I’ve started helping out with Environment Ed at camp for a few weeks… It’s just 2 30day sessions and I can’t stand it! I am super burnt out…

          We could open our own Great Harvest store somewhere together?!?!?! I could give out samples at all your races. =)

          1. Ah, bummer! That’s too bad you are already burnt out.

            I think counseling burnt us all out on working with kids. How’s Ross doing in his position? I know Craig was ready to be done after two years.

    1. Wow, your perspective on teaching sounds just like mine. I think I kind of just decided to get a degree in education because I really did not know what else to do. I get a lot of bull from friends saying that I have the easiest job in the world…right..come into my classroom with 20 eight year olds. The last few years I have really thought about weather I enjoy my career or not. Yes, I love that I am always busy and there is always something to do, but sometimes I get tired of always being tired and the lesson planning.
      Craig and I are the same with taking a vacation. He works on a farmer schedule so the only time he can really travel is in the winter, but for me that is almost impossible.
      Glad you are out, now go enjoy your summer!!

      1. I hear it all the time too–“you are so lucky to have 3 months off.” But teaching is so exhausting that we need the time off or I don’t think there would be many teachers left!

    1. I don’t have a job. Hah. But I took some personality test and told me that I would do well as a PE teacher.

    1. After reading this post, it looks like you really dislike your job and was miserable there. I hope you find a job that fits you better. It’s hard to give 40+ hours a week for something we don’t enjoy.

      I’m a teacher as well and I enjoy my students and the group of teachers I work with on a daily basis. One thing I dislike is the staff who is either negative or who just don’t get it! Oh-and the lack of funding.

    1. […] Hey, if you would have gone to school to be a teacher, you could do these things all summer long as well! Although, I would spend some time contemplating that before making that decision! […]

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