October 21, 2012

Recovering from October Stress Overload

I'm here! I'm here!

I'm alive.  Sorry for the month long absence. I really did miss all my readers and faithful commenters.  To those that sent me messages checking on my whereabouts... thank you so much.  That was exactly the kick in the pants I needed to log back in.

It was one of those things where a few days turned into a few weeks and the more I thought about logging in the more intimidated I got.  I was actually scared terrified to see my Google Reader count. Yup... I have that dreaded 1000+ staring me down.

So, what has been happening you may ask.  Well, I've been frantically trying to keep my head above water.  Does anyone else just hate October?!  Seriously, my stress level sky rockets during this month every single year.

Is it the parent teacher conferences?  Is it the endless testing that I have to put my students through?  Is it the ridiculously low scores I see after grading these tests?  Is it knowing how far my students have to come this year?  Is it knowing that we are months in and we should be so much further than we are?  Is it that the vision I had in the summer of everything has shifted and things are not exactly the way I want them?

The answer is D - all of the above.

Like clock work, at some point during this month I come home and go on some long winded rant about...well...everything... that inevitably ends with "I hate my job!" (Please don't judge me too harshly here.)

Does this happen to anyone else?!?  Yup, I hit rock bottom every October.  I work LONG hours, like longer than usual and find myself beyond exhausted every night.  It's a good thing I don't have children right now, because when I get home I'm worthless.

So, how do I cope with the stress of October ? Well...

I eat candy...lots and lots of candy.  I basically just crave sugar and with Halloween just around the corner there is candy everywhere. Snickers, anyone?

I watch a ridiculous amount of  TV.  And thankfully, there is plenty to watch.  Have y'all seen Nashville yet?  I'm currently obsessed.

I escape with a good book.  (I'm reading Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness right now.  It is the sequel to Discovery of Witches and it's really good.)

And finally... I go to bed EARLY! (after reading 5-10 pages of my book which means it takes me forever to finish anything!) Needless to say,  blogging takes the hit. 

The good news is that my stress level is starting to decline.  The first sign came last week when I made it through a whole day at school without hitting the candy bowl. I'm well on my way to recovery.  

By the time November rolls around I'll be fully back to normal and I will only dislike my job the appropriate amount on those exceptionally tough days. You all know the ones.  :)

So, hopefully I'm not the only teacher on the planet that goes through this October stress madness. 

Please say yes here. 

I'd love to hear your stories. I take comfort in knowing that I am not alone. Please share your coping skills as well. Do we all eat candy and increase our caffeine consumption? Let me know! 

P.S.  It's been WAY too long since we celebrated some Children's Literature.  Look for a new Fiction Friday this upcoming week.  I can't wait to see what you have been reading!  


  1. I so ditto your October thoughts. I think it is the month that we really start teaching. September is routine routine routine and community community community! October hits and teaching is now full force....then add in conferences. Sleep is what gets hit in my world. I also just started Shadow of Night and am thoroughly enjoying it! Have a great week.

    Chickadee Jubilee

    1. Oh Laurie! Thank you! It's so good to know that I am not alone. :)

  2. October is always a punch in the face. I spend all of September promising myself that as soon as I get these kiddos settled in my life will calm down. And then comes October. Why is it always so nuts? I just had the crying/I can't do this anymore/poor is me conversation with my husband the other night. Then something fabulous happens in class and my world is back on track. But, yes, October. Grrrrrr. You're not alone!!!


    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

    1. Thanks Megan! Don't you just love those fabulous moments in class! I don't know what I would do with out those. I guess I would probably eat even more candy, hehe!

  3. October is tough. It seems that we have a lot of assemblies in October, and they all happen in the afternoon...which interrupts the literacy block :(

    Coping skills? Maybe some shopping and hitting up my favorite fast food restaurants so I don't have to worry about dinner.

    Cheer up! November is almost here! (wow does time fly!)

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

    1. Yup. I have done the fast food thing too. Some nights I am just way too tired to even make a sandwich. I need someone to do that for me. :)

  4. Yes, Yes, and triple yes! Blogging took the hit for me, too! October is our district-assessment-for-learning month, so we have to do reading and writing assessments and code them as well...crazy, crazy!

    To cope, I drink jasmine green tea, read a just-for-me book (just finished Sepulchre by Kate Moss...a COSTCO find. LOL), and listen to some good relaxing music (I just found the Songza app...LOVE it)

    But there is a light at the end of the tunnel...for me it happened this past Tuesday when I had one of the BEST teaching days in my career...YES!

    Patience...November is just around the corner!


    Classroom Capers

  5. Absolutely! I feel like it takes me an abnormal amount of time to get ready for and then recover from parent conferences. Just last week I told my teammate -- "I wonder how long I can blame my fatigue and attitude on parent conferences?" Since I finished them on the 10th, I don't know that I should still be tired on the 20th. I took a nap today which helped. Weekend naps are the best! November is almost here and that means spurts of work and then breaks! I love my kids, but I love breaks too! Su-weeet! We're going to make it!
    I Want to be a Super Teacher

    1. Also, Airbourne helps too. I keep a large vat of it in my desk. Nothing like a good helping of vitamin C to help you through the day. :)

  6. Welcome back!!! Missed you! I love reading posts like this (not because you feel so stressed!) but because I know I'm not alone and that it's okay to go to bed at 7:00... :-) Hang in there!

  7. I feel that way too sometimes!
    You have been boo-ed over at my blog

  8. I can relate. I've been out of the blogging scene for a while. This year I've had a hard time of getting in the groove.

  9. I can completely relate. I hate October!! It is always one of the most stressful months. In glad it's almost over. I'm working 10th plus hour days, not sleeping well, and I currently have no social life. Parent teacher conferences started today, so after the next couple of weeks things should hopefully settle down.

  10. Well written! October indeed seems to be one tough month. I hope this weekend signals the end of some of your stress.

  11. Hi Amanda
    Isn't that the truth - STRESS! So glad parent conferences are over too. Have a great Halloween - oh wait! More stress on teachers on that day - sugar crazed kids - HELP. LOL
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After


Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts!