A Long and Winding Road to Burnout

After a horrific migraine today, I decided to go home early and rest. My headache has abated now but I figured I wanted to rest completely today and take a break from all things school-related. As such I am currently designing some enemies for my Black//Purple players to fight.

Since I haven’t posted meaningfully in a very long time, I want to talk about a topic that means a lot to me: Teaching.

Today was the last day of the first quarter, and what a quarter it was. I realized, after consulting my files from last year, that this quarter was about a week short. That matters.

A lot.

This quarter had everyone from teachers to students cramming massively. Not that I want to excuse laziness, but I want to talk about how unreasonable it’s been for all of us. My load is a lot heavier this year, and this stressed me out really quickly. Despite my lovely 7:30-12:30 schedule, the pace at which I had to move my lessons was far too fast. Doesn’t end there, though.

The burnout only really happened because the time was far too short for me to finish the work demanded of me.
As such I found myself lying on the couch in the faculty lounge after lunch with a cup of orange juice held to my forehead. I stayed that way until Arghs woke me up and told me that it was 12:30 and I could go home.

I treasure my sanity, and with my health already breaking down due to stress and lack of exercise, I figured that I want to stress myself out as little as possible. Of course, the system does not like to see healthy, happy, productive people who have enough time to rest. The system at large (not just our school) is so concerned with quantity (which it equates with quality) and thus prefers to see employees who slave away inside their tiny cubicles because it’s “more productive.” The same happens to the students. I’ve never seen high school kids bothered like this by school requirements.
But…but…we’re a high school that’s meant to be excellent, right? Right?!
Yeah, sure. Doesn’t mean you should cram so much into the spaces between your student’s neurons. We’re not just transferring information here. Education is helping shape a child’s future, and bombarding them with unnecessary stress is far from healthy.

What’s worse is that it wasn’t always like this. I don’t think it would be fair if I told you why someone raised the toxicity level in our school, but the point is–is it really worth it to push everyone into slavery like this? Whether they can cope with it or not is not the issue–it’s an issue of right or wrong, necessary or unnecessary. A very wise mentor of mine said:

So does this mean that our previous alumni, many of whom are successful despite having a lighter load, are inferior to our more recent graduates?

I couldn’t have put it any better. I just think this is something for educators to keep in mind. Quantity is rarely ever equated with quality.

Migraine B. Gone,
Your Black Lion

PS: Code Geass Eps 24 and 25 are out. I’ll post a review of the last two eps when I get to watch the subbed version.

~ by J. R. R. Flores on July 31, 2007.

5 Responses to “A Long and Winding Road to Burnout”

  1. While I generally agree with your sentiments about quantity=quality, there is also a point to all this madness. Part of learning is coping both with quality and quantity. The world out there isn’t going to play footsy with your students, the same way it isn’t doing so with you now. It is a mean and unkind world where survival is the rule. If your students can’t cope, they will be slaughtered out there. Now it is your role as a mentor to get that message across and nurture them to understand why pressure is being exerted. And your students have been identified as some of the country’s best. As in your previous posts, you have said that they are the hope of the country. That is true and yet the world will not stand still for them to catch up. The Philippines is fast dropping behind and its fate may well be left to mentors like you who care. And caring includes teaching them how to survive the madness…Stay the course, stay strong – Labora Dure, Ora Dure

  2. hi sir. i actually saw you balance the plastic cup on your forehead. and i have to say that in some ways Pisay really does throw waaaay too much at us. and it doesn’t help that the admin is so f*ed up. (bad experience w/ ’em today.) here it’s either you “make it broken or you just break.”😐

  3. What’s sad, sir, is that some of the work dumped on us seems completely pointless and unnecessary, but we still have to do it x_X;

    it really does sap one’s will to study/work.

  4. Quantity of workers or work is equated to quality?! I guess these people have never applied Lean Management on themselves. Here in the office where I’m at in Wessling, Germany, we only have a handful of people who roll out up to 900 transmitters in a single day. Mainly because everything is organized and automated so that you need only a few people to handle production and assembly for their products.

    Grabe. I couldn’t help but compare it to the production sites there in the Philippines. So I guess it just follows to practically every other institution.

    Sad.

  5. Back in my high school days, people stayed up until 3 to get the job done!

    Of course, I ran out of energy quickly by nighttime.

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