All my spare time has been spent sleeping

It has been nineteen days since I last posted, and probably about the same amount of time since I last properly sat down and read a blog.  Life has really been rushing by at 100mph lately and although I’ve really missed checking in and capturing moments of my life each week, I have so appreciated the extra time that not blogging and not reading blogs has given me to enable me to do nothing mark a million ten sets of coursework each for one hundred and seventy students over the past nineteen days.

Friday was coursework deadline day for my year 11 students, and it marks the end of a long period of 3:45-4:15am get ups for me.  It takes on average somewhere between 15-30 minutes to mark each student’s folder and as I joined the school halfway through last academic year I was gifted six sets of lovely year 10s, of varying ability.  Fine as year 10s, but when the pressure mounts and coursework deadline looms it turns out agreeing to take on those 170 students through to year 11 is the same as signing your life away, and almost every waking moment is spent marking, remarking, updating marks for parents and creating individual ticklists for students to ensure they know what is missing from their folder.

My life for the past three weeks has been a constant cycle of:

  • Set a ridiculously early alarm (usually about 4am)
  • Drag myself downstairs to try and wake up a little with some hot porridge
  • Let Bella have a drink from the bathroom tap (awful habit!) before allowing her to curl up on my lap in the office (and dry off a little!)
  • Bella in the sinkMark until 6am
  • Shower and rush around like a crazy person to make sure I have everything I need for the day
  • Get chauffeured to school (thanks Dan!) whilst catching up a little with emails and social media
  • Mark until kids start arriving (approx 8:15am)
  • Teach until breaktime
  • Have kids in for detention
  • Teach until lunchtime
  • Have coursework catch up kids in
  • Teach until 3pm
  • Mark until Dan picks me up at 5, or help any students that have stayed behind to work on their coursework.
  • Get chauffeured home from school (thanks Dan!) Too tired to do anything on the journey home though!
  • Cook and eat tea
  • Mark until bedtime (often quite late)

Dan’s 89 year old Nan was also rushed into hospital three weeks back, following a series of severe angina attacks.  It has meant that some evenings Dan and I have also slotted in the two hour journey over to Wolverhampton hospital where she is staying, visited her for an hour, before heading home again.  Luckily, Dan has done the driving so I have been able to catch up on a little sleep during this time.

One day I even somehow managed to sleep through my alarm going off every 5 minutes from 4:30am right through until nearly 6:20am!  I knew that I had been pretty tired the evening before so had allowed myself a later alarm time, but still managed to sleep through the alarm going off for nearly two hours!Missed phone alarm

As you can see, I haven’t had a lot of spare time just lately!

This weekend, I am not marking.  I am having the weekend off.  Other than a baby shower yesterday afternoon, I have no plans apart from catching up with some TV series, seeing a bit of Dan (we’re heading out for a nice meal this afternoon), probably catch up on a bit of very neglected housework, have a serious blog-reading-binge, write a few posts myself and get a couple of runs in.

Even the last few weekends have been fairly busy for Dan and I.  I’ve headed back to Norfolk to meet a friend’s new baby for the first time, I also ran at both the Thames Trot 50 and the Charnwood Hills fell race.  All posts to follow this week hopefully.

Thames Trot 50

Despite this coming week showing as a half term holiday in my calendar I have resigned myself to heading in to school from 7-5 each day as per my usual working week in order to mark all coursework on the official qualification submission sheets and catch up a little with the classes that I have neglected in the build up to the deadline on Friday.  On the plus side though, my alarm will be set for no earlier than 5:45am and I will not be bringing work home with me this week.

…Roll on the Easter holidays!

So tell me, what have I missed in the last three weeks?
What is the first thing to ‘go’ when things get a little busy for you?

10 thoughts on “All my spare time has been spent sleeping

  1. I have such respect for teachers and their crazy schedules. My sister is an English teacher, and while I rib her about her holidays and stuff, actually I know she earns that holiday.

    Have a lovely weekend off, and hope you get to enjoy a little of half term!

    First things to go for me are blogging and eating properly.
    Steph recently posted…Soapbox time: Habit formingMy Profile

  2. Sleep is the first thing to go, and it is so important! I don’t have the degree of marking, but I have observations, photos and videos to upload each day to each child’s individual website, and marking, planning and preparing resources too. This first half term has just been so busy and I got a bit run down and I am sure it is just because there is not a moment spare. At parents evening this week one of the dads was talking about his child’s photos and observations online and commented to me “I had no idea that teachers had to do so much work!” (in a nice and concerned way!)- the media perception of working 9-3pm is ingrained in so many people, even those close to a school. I didn’t do any work this weekend- I have a few plans next week but several days of work to get through, but it was nice to stop and not have to work for hours on a Saturday afternoon. Roll on Easter indeed!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Use My Tips to Create Your Own Amazing ‘At Home’ Workout*My Profile

    1. I was visiting my friend the other week. She has a four year old son and I was amazed when she was telling me all of the details that she can view about observations and activities her son does at school online. It really does seem like so much of the admin side of the job is done for the sake of it now, or to cover the school’s back. I said to Dan yesterday that I could probably work a ‘full time’ job of 37.5 hours a week purely on admin tasks alone, without adding in the actual teaching hours! At least parents are starting to notice how much work we put in now though. Some of them at least! There are still those parents that insist on instant responses to emails and regular updates on their child, despite their child being just one of the 500 I teach!
      Hope you’re having a lovely week off! :)

  3. Ho. ly. COW. Can I sleep for you!? Agh so happy you’re taking the weekend off – I know we all have different fuses (mine is ridiculously short) but it’s only a matter of time before we burn out.

    I wish I had spent more time appreciating the work my teachers (some more than others) went to to help us at exam time – but that’s quite a bit to ask from a 16 year old…

    Hope easter comes quickly for you!
    Cat recently posted…8 Things Introverts Wish Extroverts KnewMy Profile

    1. Thanks Cat. If there were an extra two-three hours in a day I would use them all for sleeping!
      I definitely look back and appreciate some of my GCSE teachers much more now that I know what they did for us back then! Like you say though, it’s hard to comprehend as a 16 year old.

  4. Oh my goodness Mary! That is one serious schedule, you poor love!
    But it’s worth it in the end and you are going to really enjoy your well deserved time off, which is a good thing!
    Don’t worry about letting Bella drink form the tap, Lily does this alll the time! :)
    The first things to go for me when things get frantic are always my workouts and keeping up to date with social media…
    Katie G recently posted…Fitness Bloggers 5kmMy Profile

  5. Blimey. I just can’t even comprehend that. I’m sorry but is it REALLY necessary for the whole parent update thing (I’m not saying that you have any control in this, I realise it’s something stipulated to you by the Powers that Be) but REALLY?? How child-obsessed do parents want to be?? My parents were lucky to know my teacher’s names let alone what I was doing. This is ridiculous as it just seems to be causing you more work, less sleep and potentially less able to give the ACTUAL teaching 100% because you’re so tired. Jesus.
    Fully enjoy your time off – you deserve it!!!
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…The most sensible route to takeMy Profile

    1. It is good in some respects – there isn’t quite so much pressure to phone home if there is an issue – it puts more of the ownership on parents to check Go4Schools-the software we use to log grades, effort and behaviour. It just seems an overkill the majority of the time though. You’ve hit the nail on the head about all of the faffy paperwork affecting the actual teaching which is not the way the job should be at all.

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