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Teachers and Sleep


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Depends on the day. I get up at 4:45 a.m. Monday-Friday. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, my daughter has soccer practice from 9:00-10:30 at night, so we get home about 11:00 and I then cook dinner and get to bed around 11:45. That makes five hours. On Mondays and Wednesdays I get home early, usually around 6:30 and then I get my 8 hours...

However, I have to say that the fact I sleep so little is my fault -- I don't have to get up so early... I just hate to drive through rush hour traffic, so I get to school at around 6:30 or so and try to get all my marking and planning done at school rather than taking it home... Again, the fact that I'm a teacher has nothing to do with my daughter being a football player....

[i plead lack of sleep for my slowness in responding to the excellent and thought-provoking E-HELP postings... I'll get to it...]

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However, I have to say that the fact I sleep so little is my fault -- I don't have to get up so early... I just hate to drive through rush hour traffic, so I get to school at around 6:30 or so and try to get all my marking and planning done at school rather than taking it home... Again, the fact that I'm a teacher has nothing to do with my daughter being a football player....

According to the report teachers get less sleep than they need because of stress and overwork. For example, they stay up late marking and preparing. Their brains therefore become overactive.

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I'm sure that's true. I often lose sleep worrying about something that went wrong in class during the day. But surely that must be the same in most other professions as well. I'm sure David Beckham doesn't sleep as well after he's had a bad game...

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I probably get about 7 hours a night during the week and about 10 hours a night at the weekend..... then again I am a rather delicate flower :zzz

My sleep is not always of a great quality as often my mind is full of school and I tend to work late on the computer.

Solicitors did rather well in the survey John quotes from though I can't see how they can sleep at night at all :rolleyes:

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you follow the threads on the TES chatline, you will soon see that insomnia is one of the most commonly repeated topics, along with student behaviour and Ofsted. It is very obvious from all the posts on this topic that many teachers do suffer from it and for the reasons you quote. Most of the posters are aware of the causes, but can't do anything to remove them. I also note the number of teachers on the same site who openly declare their addiction to alcohol for the same reasons.

As someone recently noted, teaching has been classified as the most stressful job after air traffic controllers, who are hopefully only dealing with one or two planes at a time!!

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It is very obvious from all the posts on this topic that many teachers do suffer from it and for the reasons you quote.  Most of the posters are aware of the causes, but can't do anything to remove them. I also note the number of teachers on the same site who openly declare their addiction to alcohol for the same reasons.

I have long been of the view that the primary cause of teacher stress is the extended contact time with children. Add ever rising expectations, external threats (like inspectors), ham fisted or bullying management and you have a recipe for disaster.

Most union focussed campaigns to alleviate teacher stress seem to concentrate on the trivial - e.g. paperwork and bureaucracy..... I am sure that I have never any lost sleep about paperwork. I may well have done however over difficult children, poor management, excessive teaching load and Ofsted preparation. These are not factors the individual teacher can do much about. It is true that something can be done to 'train one's bullies' in the workplace on an individual basis, but the rest are structural factors which can only be tackled collectively. Unfortunately our unions in the UK seem more bent on fighting each other - I guess it is easier for them that way? :rolleyes:

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This is why having one union frees it up to fight the educational fights as I believe we do here. We have regulated contact hours (40 per fortnight for secondaries/44 for primaries but we are working on that), maximum hours on site (75 per fortnight), regulated break times. we do not have an inspection system (and yet we rate near the top, above the UK in international tests) and because management is also part of our union, we have some control over their antics (if they "do the wrong thing", there's no other union to represent them). The advantages benefit everyone in the system, including the employer who only has one union to deal with and knows what to expect and the strength that can be applied.

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This is why having one union frees it up to fight the educational fights as I believe we do here. We have regulated contact hours (40 per fortnight for secondaries/44 for primaries but we are working on that), maximum hours on site (75 per fortnight), regulated break times. we do not have an inspection system (and yet we rate near the top, above the UK in international tests) and because management is also part of our union, we have some control over their antics (if they "do the wrong thing", there's no other union to represent them). The advantages benefit everyone in the system, including the employer who only has one union to deal with and knows what to expect and the strength that can be applied.

How do I apply to emmigrate to Tasmania :clapping

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We also have separate senior secondary colleges for all students after Yr 10 and I'm sure you'd find a niche in one of them!!

OK - you can be my referee :plane

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