Most of my adult life I’ve experienced insomnia due to circumstances such as working 12 hour shifts from six in the evening to six in the morning, taking education classes at night that ended at 10 or later and getting home and staying up till two or three in the morning to complete my coursework. Now that I am teaching, all kinds of thoughts run through my mind that does not allow me to get a good night’s sleep. To make matters worse, on November 25, I attended a State Teachers Advisory Board Meeting and present was Andrew Morrill, President of the Arizona Education Association, and he asked those present, “What in education keeps you up at night?” So now I lie awake at night thinking of “What keeps me awake at night?”
Here is what keeps me awake at night:
With many colleges and universities reporting that graduating high school seniors are not well prepared and must take remediation classes before enrolling in classes that count towards their anticipated degree, I worry if my son will have to take remediation classes. However, he put my worries to rest last summer by passing a college entrance exam. He registered that summer as a high school junior for an accelerated English 101 class and was highly successful. Because of his success, he is excited about taking English 102 in the Spring Semester, which brings me to another concern.
My son will be graduating next year with plans on attending a major university and I will support him in achieving his goals. However, due to the economy, my salary, and the rising cost of education, I worry that I will not be able to support my son financially and I ponder the thought that perhaps this might be my last year as a teacher. This thought is a nightmare that keeps me up at night.
Not wanting to be alone staying up at night, I asked several individuals, “What keeps you up at night?” One teacher said, “I worry about being held accountable for students who chose not to perform academically in the classroom after being given support to be successful.” A paraprofessional who is studying to obtain her degree in Elementary Education said, “My concern is will I have the proper classroom management skills to be successful in the classroom?” And lastly, a parent/teacher replied, “I worry about the emotional and everyday needs of my students.”
“What keeps you up at night?”