Wow...this is a toughie.
We had a #flipclass reading assignment about emotional labor - and its worth - tonight. Then we began exploring what emotional labor might be involved in teaching.
As was tweeted by a participant, I believe emotional labor is part of the job description of a teacher.
Or maybe it's a part of the job that takes one by surprise. I don't think one knows going in how much emotional labor is involved.
There is all SORTS of emotional labor in teaching.
I worry about lessons, wondering if I've taught the right thing the right way.
I worry about students. Their academic success. Their emotional well-being. Their lives at home.
I stress over extra paperwork and deadlines.
I get excited. When a lesson works. When a student's light bulb comes on. When students "talk math" to each other.
I experience joy. When a student or parent says thank you. When a student's effort pays off.
How do I deal with it?
I find it's important to let my brain decompress.
I try to take one day a week - usually Saturday - and make it a school-free day. No grading, no planning.
I try to leave school on time one day a week (that is one of the most difficult things I try to do).
The spa tub helps. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep help. Music helps. Laughing helps.
There will always be emotional labor in teaching. And it will always be hard to deal with it effectively and efficiently.
But it's most often worth it, and I guess that's why I keep laboring.