Spring break is on the horizon. This is abundantly clear because, just a sniff of chocolate is sending the kids into hyberdrive; your wall planner looks like the prison cell wall of an inmate counting the days until freedom; and even the most basic of tasks are counfounding your overtired brain. Here are five giveaway signs that you're close to burnout...
- You invent tea-ffee… again
It's lunchtime and you are in charge of making the tea and coffee. You meticulously take the orders and you're confident that this time you have it covered. But as you begin to spoon instant coffee granules and deposit tea bags your mind wanders into joyful, fatigue-induced autopilot. You hand out mugs without thinking and pretty soon the murmurs of discontent are audible. Once again, you’ve inadvertently created a coffee-tea hybrid. "My coffee has a tea bag in it," says Danny from the math department. Yes, Danny, yes it does.
- Nap time is all the time
You’ve stayed at your desk for lunch to make a dent in that increasingly precarious pile of grading. You lean back to have a stretch – just for a second – and wake 20 minutes later to the sound of giggling and the telltale clicks of a camera phone.
- You become absent-minded
Having marched purposefully into the office, you now can’t remember why you needed to go in there in the first place. You mumble something inaudible and run. This has happened numerous times recently, most memorably when you ran into the staffroom and shouted, "Right! Everyone needs to... erm... something... bear with me" before running back to the vice principal and sheepishly asking what important message you had been trusted with. Needless to say, you don't get trusted with important messages any more.
- You make unintentional fashion statements
It’s midday before someone points out that your top is not only on back to front, but also inside out. You’re surprised your students haven’t said anything. But then you realize you might just have stumbled on something fashionable.
- You’re teaching in a school in the US