Not Quite Burned
Out But Crispy
Around the Edges

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Not Quite Burned Out But Crispy Around the Edges
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Intro, Summary & General Questions

Introduction
Do you ever have troubling remembering the reason why you went into teaching in the first place?  The joy?  The passion?  The excitement about the possibility of stimulating young minds?   Have you ever been awakened by your alarm clock, only to lie in the semi-darkness wondering why you should even bother to get up and go to school one more day?   Not Quite Burned Out, But Crispy On The Edges was written for you.  None of us strive for burnout, but sometimes, over the years, it creeps upon us slowly as necessity and reality gradually overpower our youthful enthusiasm and optimism. This book of inspirational stories and essays is designed for any teacher who has survived the first week of the first year of teaching.  It offers memories of the joy of teaching, tells memorable tales of tragedy as well as survival, and provides opportunities for laughter, which is sometimes the only remedy for difficult situations.   Teachers face low salaries, large classes, crumbling buildings, and dwindling public support.  We are asked to improve student performance, answer public scrutiny, and solve all of society's  problems with just a stroke of chalk across a blackboard.  It is easy to get discouraged and quit, and many do.  This book is designed to scrape away the crunchy edges, and remind us all of the beauty and glory of what we as teachers do every day.

Excerpt from CHAPTER ONE
The Ninety-Seventh Day of your Seventeenth Year of Teaching
A Day Like All The Others; And That's The Problem

It's Monday, it's February, and you have a cold.  You pull the collar of your brown coat closer to you as you hurry across the parking lot.  You hate that brown coat, the one you bought on sale last September when the weather was still warm and winter seemed liked a pleasant vacation to look forward to.   You hate it because it reminds you of cold and dreariness and mud; mud all over your classroom floor by the end of the morning.  

You hurry into the fluorescent warmth of the teacher's workroom and find that  the copier is broken, again.   It was working when you left on Friday, but it was the end of the week and you were tired, and you promised yourself you'd come in early on Monday and beat the crowd and run off your lessons for the day.  You look at the faces of your colleagues who are staring at you and not smiling.  You wonder why.  You cannot deal with them without coffee so you turn to make yourself a cup; black and steamy.  You never drank coffee before you started teaching; but now your day cannot begin without it. You glance with dismay at the cold and empty coffee machine.  Whose turn was it anyway to fill it this week?  You angrily check the coffee list tacked on the wall to find which thoughtless person on the staff is about to get a piece of your mind. You discover it was you.  You tiptoe to the other side of the work room and silently admire your colleagues who had said nothing about your oversight.  They've been teaching longer than you have.
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