Young teachers make seasoned teacher nervous. The new crop arrives every year to replace the teachers who have retired, moved on, or have come to fill new positions that have opened in a school. The first thought is, “should I invite them into our group or keep our distance?”. The new young teachers have energy to spare and ideas galore. They not only arrive, many with Master’s degrees in hand, but they bring with them the knowledge of technology.
So you find yourself building your impenetrable fortress of solitude, and hone your skills in order to stay ahead of the newbies. Rest assured that a newbie may walk in with a 3 inch thick portfolio, but there is nothing that can equal the experience of the seasoned teacher. New teacher’s classroom management skills are the first thing to evaluate. Can the new young teacher successfully control a class and keep their pedagogy intact?
So, maybe at the end of the school day you feel that you are more exhausted than in years past. You lack the energy to deal with the students problems, juggling a home life, and try to keep your mind and body as sharp as possible. The task seems daunting. And with every new initiative the school system implements, you find yourself tired and bored in all day at meetings. You assess yourself. You think “I am losing the race against the younger teachers.” You say “I should not be this tired at the end of the day!”
Have you ever given a thought to how you sleep? Deep sleep is required to rest your mind and give your body time to heal. You think maybe the gym and eating right are the answers, but you just end up toned and still more tired than you should be. There is a very good possibility you are suffering from sleep Apnea. This can take the form of loud snoring, repeatedly holding your breath while you sleep, or often show no outward symptoms at all. This lack of oxygen can cause any number of symptoms: inability to concentrate, irritability, lack of enthusiasm, lethargy, taking longer for a common cold to go away and worse, irreparable damage to vital organs. You think “I’ll ask my family doctor if this could be the cause of my symptoms.” Have you ever thought about talking to your dentist? It is a fact that most people see their dentist more often than a medical doctor. With this in mind, dentists have become a front line of defense in preventive health care. A trip to the dentist now might involve a blood pressure check and general questions about your health. Dentists are now evaluating the sleeping habits of their patients. Poor sleep patterns are a sign that something is wrong. And not addressing this issue could have grave consequences in the long term.
One teacher did a sleep study that revealed that he stopped breathing 115 times per night, sometimes for almost a minute at times. His dentist told him that if he did not address the issue of Apnea, the possibility of shaving ten years off of his life was very real. There are many treatments for sleep Apnea, but this young man was fitted for an Oral Appliance that is worn at night. The idea is that the bottom jaw is forced forward and keeps the airway open all night. After just a couple of nights he began to regain his vigor. Not to mention his spouse asked him to stop sleeping on the couch. So, don’t just think you are losing the rat race; you are experienced. The answer may lay in your irregular sleep patterns. Mention this to your dentist during your next cleaning, or if you feel that you need immediate attention, contact your family physician.