Due to horrible weather, my graduate courses were canceled tonight. Am I doing something productive? No. Currently, I'm getting ready to go and get some much needed sleep. I could catch up on my much needed grading, but I think to myself... if I don't get some sleep soon then my students are going to see me teach about the benefits of sleep deprivation and hallucination during class through example.
They'd probably find it funny. Most of them come in every day with under 4 hours of sleep. They either work after school or are up all night talking to their friends or playing video games. I think most of their parent (single family homes) work double/triple jobs.
Anyway... I work full time as a first year teacher. That is a major time commitment. I don't take a lunch most days because I tutor the kids during my lunch break and I don't like eating in front of kids that don't have money for food. I can't feed them all so I don't eat. I get one hour during the day to work on my lessons and grade, but that's never enough for the 150 students I teach. I teach 6 classes a day and am in the school from 645 am until 4 to 6 pm. I plan my lessons after school and grade after school. I go home to work on grading and planning lessons. I'm teaching outside my subject area (Biology) so I have to go home and teach myself my subject so that I can make sure I know it enough to answer all of the questions I'll get.
I also take two graduate courses per week towards my masters in education. That means I also have my own homework, projects, papers, and finals to do for these classes. That, and I have the 3 to 4 hours per week of sitting in class on the other side of town listening to my graduate professor(s) tell me how to be a good teacher. I do like these classes, but when you've been up since 5 am, having a class from 7-9 pm gets really painful. Paying attention to even the most interesting material becomes difficult. By the time you get home, you want to die.
On the weekends, due to my busy schedule, I often catch up on things like: eating, sleeping, doing my lesson plans, washing clothes, sleeping, sleeping, holding still, sleeping, not thinking, and generally behaving *not* like a chicken with its head cut off.
Sometimes I wonder why I left research. Then I look into the eyes of my students every morning and I don't even wonder. I love my work. Even with all of the sacrifices. I love my work.