English teacher from England. Currently teaching in South East Asia.
Numerous studies have shown that, above all other factors, it’s the teacher in the classroom who inspires, cultivates and enthuses learning. How can you do that when you’re surviving on four hours of sleep a night and on the verge of despair? You matter. A great deal.
Research by David Dinges at the University of Pennsylvania has found that adults need eight hours of sleep a night – we do not adapt. We just perform at a far lower level than if fully rested. And his research shows that if you have six hours of sleep a night for just two weeks in a row, you become the equivalent of being cognitively drunk. Do you think it’s a good idea going to school drunk?!
Teaching is therefore not the profession for a perfectionist. There is always something more you can do. Don’t get me wrong – I am not undermining thorough, dedicated, inventive and innovative planning. I’m not in favour of teachers who cut corners. But I also hate seeing people who come into the profession and start destroying their health and their personal life. It’s all about balance.