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Some teachers complain that they sometimes spend all day working on lesson plans in the classroom and still not done. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News Archives

SUNDAY: First day of the week and I am already exhausted. I did not earn a degree in education to do this mindless paperwork.

I have a degree to teach, but all I did today was fill out long forms and write pages and pages of reports documenting the progress of each student.

MONDAY

People who believe teachers have it easy must be living under a rock.

5am: Tore myself off the bed to catch the 6am school bus. Like always, no time for breakfast.

At school, summoned by the principal. She wants me to firm up my lesson plans for the upcoming observation. I spend all day working on it in the classroom and am still not done.

TUESDAY

Getting panic attacks.

I have still not been able to complete my lesson plans. This is why it’s important to write down why we do what we do, what we do and how we do rather than just do it. This afternoon, we were called for an urgent meeting where we were told that school inspectors will be visiting us shortly. Difficult days ahead.

WEDNESDAY

Getting tired of showing up on a job I know I can’t do. I feel tethered to a sinking weight called ‘lost time’. It’s 11pm and the supervisor has just WhatsApped me, saying she wants me to send the newsletter to parents now.

What are the parents going to do with it at this late hour? It’s a newsletter, not breaking news!

THURSDAY

The joy of education is draining out from teaching. I am so overwhelmed with paperwork that I wanted to call in sick today. I am losing my drive to teach. I don’t want to, but the fact is that I am. Today, I was very rude to the pupils. But you can’t blame me for it!

FRIDAY

It was a weekend. I was hoping to spend time with my husband and four-year-old son, but instead marked papers and prepared assessment sheets until late in the evening. I feel ill, overworked and powerless to change my situation.

SATURDAY

Went to see GP who confirmed my suspicions – I am suffering from acute stress and high blood pressure. He suggested I take a break. I can’t. School inspections are starting next week and the first mock inspection drill for preparedness is tomorrow.