A couple of weeks ago, I finished lunch and noticed something strange. I was thinking about breathing. That's weird... I've never thought about that before. As I entered my office, I noticed that I couldn't get a full breath. Now, it was a little bit worse. As the afternoon went on, my struggle increased. I just couldn't breathe.
I thought to myself. "Am I having a heart attack? What's going on?" My wife urged me to go to the ER, but my manly pride argued to suck it up and tough it out. My ego battled with my lungs until I finally gave in and decided to go to the ER. When I told them my problem, they rushed me to the back immediately. After all the tests, I found out that I wasn't having a heart attack. I had pneumonia.
Well how many times does this happen to new teachers to a new job? They walk in and start busting their humps learning how to do the "work". They slowly begin to sink, but their pride won't allow them to say a word. The demands of the job, the kids, the personal life and everything else slowly start a water-boarding effect. The pressure mounts and mounts until it's too late. They suffocate from the pressure of No Child Left Behind.
New teachers to a new position struggle every year breathing in the foreign procedures, unfamiliar language and hectic pace, but there are those who never suffocate. There are some who are drowning under a tidal wave of red tape, but others are tredding water just fine.
Why is that?
Schools of excellence don't allow any teacher to drown. They won't let any teacher suffocate. They are committed to ensuring that every teacher has what they need to succeed. That means schools are providing additional time and extra support to new teachers. Extra time is given to explain foreign procedures. Mentors do more than remind newbies where office forms are. Schools of excellence believe in saving kids by saving teachers first. After all, if the teachers die from asphyxiation due to the "work", then who will be left to teach the kids.
When I didn't know why I couldn't breathe, I was scared and my stress level rose. After the doctor calmly diagnosed my problem, gave me my prognosis and encouraged me to take time to recover, I felt better. Over the course of a week, I improved tremendously to my previous form. In essence, that is what all schools should be doing for all teachers who are struggling to keep up.
What are your thoughts?