Only if she accepts help in balancing work and life. Some people get mentors, others learn it the hard way, and the final group sacrifices themselves at the altar.
The hardest year is the first year teaching any new content area. For the most part, you have to spend as long planning the lesson as you do teaching it.
So long as she stays in the same grade and content next year, it should be less work—she’ll have a years worth of lessons to draw from and either re use or use again with minor modifications.
Sometimes it's prep, but it depends. New teachers have so many challenges. Classroom management was harder on me than lessons are. I teach heavy prep courses that change content (the units/ novels change a lot) and has a lot of grading but when I taught remedial 8th grade reading with plans made for me I actually did more work. New teachers also get the shit jobs at the schools and preps no one wants to do, which doesn't help them, so it can be less work to change jobs. I went for continuously easier jobs which meant I changed a lot, but my job is much easier for it.
The first few years are just like this for any teacher worth anything. It's all brand new. The planning, the tweaking, grading, communicating with students, their parents, colleagues. As she gets more comfortable with her career, certain things just become easier. She'll also learn to put her time and energy into the more integral parts of her job. If she's a good, quality teacher, she never stops all of it. She'll always be driven to improve and become better at her job.
If you truly love her, she needs your support right now more than anything. Make her dinner, don't question why she's spending so much time on planning or grading, ask how you can help, send her a card or flowers, buy her something for her room. Show her you support her commitment to this career. It's a hard enough job on its own. It gets easier, but it's always a challenge. Signed A 28 year teaching veteran.
While I do agree with your post, what if OP has an equally demanding job.
My wife and I are both rookie teachers. Myself on my second year, my wife on her first. We both teach middle school math and it is brutal work. We split our house work, cooking, chores, equally. I do sometimes question why my wife is giving such detailed feedback on student work when she hasnt even started tomorrow's lesson plan. Or why she is detailing scripts on her lesson plan, when the slideshow hasn't been done yet.
OP and his fiance need to make sure they are setting boundaries for themselves. Last year I was losing way too much sleep, and this year i'm determined to put a stop to it and not to let my wife make the same mistakes. We only do our work talk on the ride home and when we get home, no more talking about work. It's too draining. We do the lesson planning and grading we need to do, and usually spend time together after 8.
Edit: Interm report cards are due friday so we're heating up some meal prepped frozen soup and working late tonight. But tomorrow! Bachelor in paradise and popcorn night!
It sounds like his job isn't as demanding if he has more time and energy though, which makes the person's advice pretty good.
It's definitely rough the first two years. Especially if their school doesn't have any kind of assistance or guidance for new teachers.
It can get easier. But sadly, sometimes it won't. A lot of it is determined by personality. SO and I are both teachers. I can still be effective with a minimal amount of planning and prep. I've developed an effective balance of work assigned that makes the courses meaningful but is still not too challenging to stay on top of on my end. I've also developed a healthy work/life balance where I've allowed myself to do the job in very pre-determined windows of time.
None of this happened overnight. This took me a few years to figure out, and luckily I was not in a relationship while I was figuring it out.
Things take a lot longer for my SO to prep and plan. In addition to being a bit of a perfectionist, some tasks are just a bit more time-consuming (SO has dyslexia, and does better with visual tutorials as opposed to all-written-- sidebar: this is what makes them a really, REALLY good teacher, because they actually understand HOW to help a student for whom things don't just "come naturally.")
Let her take some months to adjust to the initial shock. Find as many ways as you can to help (do the grocery shopping, cook meals whenever you can, run errands). Every little thing you can take on makes a huge difference. Make the most of the limited free time that's available right now, but accept for now that Sun afternoon-Friday afternoon are probably going to be pretty rough.
Let some time go by, but have the conversation with her about what she, realistically, has as a goal for her time commitment to the job. She's totally overwhelmed right now, but she probably has an idea of what time commitment she would view as manageable and sustainable long term. Hopefully, that's one you can get on board with, but ASK HER HOW YOU CAN HELP GET HER THERE. And she may not know RIGHT NOW, but make sure she knows you're committed to helping make the job go more smoothly. Be honest, but also be cautious about burdening her too much right now with your frustrations about her job. Making her feel guilty on top of stressed and anxious is not going to helpm anything, and will just strain your relationship more. Be aware that in a classroom, many teachers do not have even a spare 5 minutes to send or respond to a text. And that NEEDS to be okay. I love seeing messages that wish me a good day, or even just a simple emoji heart. But I also love that there's no expectation that I respond back (though I happily respond with a big smooch when we're both back at home).
Being married to a teacher sucks a lot of the time. Which, again, I say as a teacher. But most teachers are really morally good, empathetic people, and if you're willing to give them support, trust, and a body to snuggle up to, you couldn't possibly ask for a better partner in life.
It gets better if she sets boundaries.
Things that helped me my first year:
1) date nights: every Thursday, my bf at the time and I would go on a date. It was something nice to look forward to and gave me the energy to go back to work on Friday instead of giving up on life lol
2) Exercise. My bf and I at the time also exercised together pretty regularly on the weekends and sometimes throughout the week. I won’t go into detail about the value of exercise, but it was nice that he kept me accountable when I wanted to quit
3) just continual reminders that I’m more than just a teacher.
20 years in and my husband knows the first month of school is the hardest for me. I need the time to readjust and get back into a balance. We plan for me to be exhausted and stressed but usually by week 4 we start to get back to "normal" where there are some bad days but not as many. It will get better but probably not for a while.
First year is HARD, and you really care. 13 years in, I still like teaching, but I don’t bring work home and I don’t check emails at home. I care from 7-2:45 then I’ve got my own stuff going on. As others have said, it’s so important to set those boundaries so you don’t get burned out and miserable in the job.
When she’s venting to you don’t try to fix anything just listen and let her get it out. Had to learn this a couple of times.
50% of teachers quit in their first 5 years.
It’s always hard, but it does get easier. My first mentor used to say that it never gets easier, it just seems like it as you get better.
A common theme I hear from teachers is that year one and two are HARD. By year four you have the realization that you aren’t staying nearly as late or taking nearly as much home.
It’s really difficult. Definitely encourage her to set some boundaries as time passes, but honestly the fist year is stressful. I was not in a super serious relationship when I started and if I was, I wasn’t sure how I would handle.
My fiancé when we first started dating would keep me company while I graded, or sometimes I would let him grade some stuff and it helped us stay close. We also scheduled a date night that was non-negotiable. This helped us stay close too.
I would let her know how you’re feeling, and see if you can help with the stress and see if she can make sure to make time for you guys more. I will say though, her work life balance should improve after Christmas when she gets the hang of things.
She will burn out at that clip, guranteed, it is not sustainable.
That clip doesn't need to be sustained. Like a plane reaching cruising altitude, she will level off once she get things sorted.
I agree but I also think it’s hard to be a good teacher without a couple pretty intense, committed years at first. I think there is a pretty healthy and normal transition from burn out rate to a sustainable pace for most good teachers that are committed to the profession for the long term.
And I say that as an 11 year English (!) teacher who now works (0-1!) hours a week outside of contract hours. Most frequently 0.
But I can do that in part because of my hard first couple years, not despite.
Tell her to
1. Grade less. Not everything is for a grade.
2. Do more "completion" grades. As in, if it's not a test or a project, if it's just homework/classwork, the kids get points for completing the work. Don't care if the answers are right, just need it completed.
3. Do completion grades during class. If the kids had homework the night before, walk around with your gradebook. Check that the kid has the homework and put the grade in. If they don't have it/can't find it, it's a zero. Don't collect the homework-the kid can keep it- just check to make sure it's done and immediately give it back. If you need to occupy the kids while you walk around, give them an easy review worksheet to do.
She should NOT stay until 5pm and then come home with 2-3 hours of work. She should stay until 5pm OR leave the second school ends and come home with 2-3 hours of work. She will burn out. Remind her that doing less work and staying in teaching is better for the students than if she does a ton of work but burns out and quits teaching.
I disagree with the completion grade notion. It certainly can work, but isn't great for some subjects. I teach ELA, and many of my assignments are writing. If I blindly gave grades for "completion," my students would stop genuinely writing, and then would be screwed when the time came for a real paper.
Also, since it takes me barely more effort to just go ahead and grade the thing than it does to just read it to make sure it's done...well, I don't really give many "completion" grades.
Now, a math friend of mine does. It completely works for him.
So, my only point is that this shouldn't be offered as a panacea.
Having her nonteacher fiance tell her how to do her job because people on Reddit said so when she's not seeking advice, just grace and support from him most likely isn't going over well.
It gets better, but "when" varies.
And this year, I'm exhausted too and I am already excellent at my job, have a dream schedule, no new prep, etc. This is a particularly hard year. I don't work all those hours, but I'm always tired this year still.
It definitely gets better. Put in the work now (year 1-2) and if you do it right you’ll mostly just be tweaking stuff from year to year.
I’m on year 15 and whenever my brain thinks “you need to get off your ass and plan a lesson!” I open up my files and there’s a bunch of stuff there waiting for me. It’s great.
It kills me when I read this kind of stuff, why does she think she has to do so damn much?? It’s like girl chill…it will get better but she has to be the one to realize her life is out of balance and it does NOT need to be. I have great classes, lessons, coworkers, and I don’t do a SINGLE thing outside of my contracted work hours. I literally wait to clock in at 7:45 and immediately leave at 4:00. I get all my stuff done and if I don’t get something done they can kiss my ass because they didn’t provide me enough time to get it done