10 Hours of Noam Chomsky

Yes. Teaching is Stressful.

Recently someone on Reddit asked: “how is teaching stressful?” I thought I’d share my fun little response I wrote.


Are you kidding? I canot even begin to answer that question because I am so totally exhausted from teaching. It is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet.

In addition to pouty, arrogant, disinterested students (whose passion for learning — or at least passing standardized tests — you must excite or be condemned for being bad at your job), you will face endless bureaucratic mandates; mountains of tedious paperwork, related to student activities and not; gallons of emails, most of it nearly pointless, but just barely important enough to get you into big trouble if you delete it without reading it; years of “professional development” which often translates into mind-numbing seminars or lectures at best; meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting; conferences about young people who brag about how they hate you, your class, the curriculum, and everyone in the building, refuse to do work, but still deserve to pass the class; and a socio-political environment that demonizes you at every turn for not instantly remedying all of the nation’s ills yet provides almost no support for this herculean task.

Then there are the myriad challenges of preparing lessons, designing activities, teaching the actual class, and grading papers. Once you’ve finished all of that, you can write up your goal reflection for the year, finish your club sponsor duties (for which you may or may not get paid), and help struggling students after school. Also don’t forget to check your mailbox and remember to send those things to Central Copy before you leave, or else you won’t have them when you need them on Friday. Also that student who is doing the independent study project needs to meet with you.

Don’t get me wrong — I love my job and I cannot imagine doing anything else. I also love my district and I’m very lucky to have a supportive administration that respects me.

But it’s a job with stress like you will not believe.

Didactic SynCast #83: Return of the Snot Burglar

The clouds of depression have lifted and I’m back, baby! This show is all about cheating in schools and fracking and robot therapists. Enjoy!

DS #83: Return of the Snot Burglar

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Sack on Mandates

Steve Sack from the Minneapolis Star Tribune won the Pulitzer Prize today for his editorial cartoons. Here’s my favorite of the gallery. I also really like this one.