Guest Blogger: Sucking Air

[This week’s guest blogger is Dan Meyer, a 21-yo student teacher from Sacramento who doesn’t realize he’ll one day consider six hours of sleep to be rather extravagant.]

Approximately eight hours for classes (in which I teach and am taught), four or five hours for prep work and homework, I’ve got a scant six hours in which to sleep, and I try to scrape an hour out of the remains in which to lift weights at the rec hall. I’ve never been this busy. I’m hoping that things will reach a steadier state for me because I’m burning out fast.

And it wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel like such a failure. I had a real bad day on Thursday, wherein the class kinda ran all over the place, all over me, and didn’t do their assigned work. At least my supervising teacher happened to be there for his bimonthly review visit. I mean, at least there’s that.

When I apply for teaching jobs, when they ask for three adjectives to describe myself, I won’t hesitate: incompetent, discouraged, burned-out.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Yes, six hours of sleep will one day be extravagant. As will weight lifting. But it does get easier! Enjoy, and TAKE your breaks. Year one of BTSA is pure hell. But your second year, you will be able to breathe.

    Don’t get discouraged, and don’t give up. It’s best to make the sacrifices while you’re young and you have the energy. Even if you don’t think you have it–trust me, I wish I’d gotten credentialed at your age instead of changing careers at 40.

    You will get better, you will get better, you will get better.

    And you are probably already much, much better than you think you are. Classroom management is the hardest piece of the puzzle, I think. But it’s why we student teach. :)

  2. Dan,

    Would you please post a FAQ or some sort of similar guidelines for these posts? Please? The careful bolding and image repitition is not getting the job done.

  3. You have no social life, the kids are running amok in your classroom, and you constantly feel a thought you could do better.

    Sounds like you’re shaping up to be a terrific teacher! Welcome to the world of true teaching, not just showing up to lecture and pass time until your next “comp day”. I dabble in the “real teacher world” myself from time to time, but I have to pull back to spend time with my family and friends on occasion :)

  4. Submission for the FAQ.

    What did you base these posts on? (Are they pure memory, from an old blog, personal e-mails, etc.?) I’ve noticed some edits that are your current voice. How much of the non-marked stuff has been revised?

    Obviously you’re still writing in a convincing student teacher voice. Next time you take an extended break, can we have guest-blogger Dan Meyer, a 22-yo first year teacher?

  5. We all have days when we feel inadequate. It’s a part of teaching, and it’s a part of being human. I feel that failure just pushes me to want to succeed even more.

  6. Student teaching was one of the worst experiences of my life, but it helped me become what I am today. You will always learn, always change, always have great successes and horrific failures in the classroom. The highs are high and the lows sub-terranean, BECAUSE YOU CARE. Hang in there, man.