This article (and sadly I don't remember how I got to it) really struck a chord with me today.
As part of getting my feet wet, my principal suggested I “be” a student for two days: I was to shadow and complete all the work of a 10th grade student on one day and to do the same for a 12th grade student on another day. My task was to do everything the student was supposed to do: if there was lecture or notes on the board, I copied them as fast I could into my notebook. If there was a Chemistry lab, I did it with my host student. If there was a test, I took it (I passed the Spanish one, but I am certain I failed the business one).
I could not believe how tired I was after the first day. I literally sat down the entire day, except for walking to and from classes. We forget as teachers, because we are on our feet a lot – in front of the board, pacing as we speak, circling around the room to check on student work, sitting, standing, kneeling down to chat with a student as she works through a difficult problem…we move a lot.
But students move almost never. And never is exhausting. In every class for four long blocks, the expectation was for us to come in, take our seats, and sit down for the duration of the time. By the end of the day, I could not stop yawning and I was desperate to move or stretch. I couldn’t believe how alert my host student was, because it took a lot of conscious effort for me not to get up and start doing jumping jacks in the middle of Science just to keep my mind and body from slipping into oblivion after so many hours of sitting passively.
I was drained, and not in a good, long, productive-day kind of way. No, it was that icky, lethargic tired feeling. I had planned to go back to my office and jot down some initial notes on the day, but I was so drained I couldn’t do anything that involved mental effort (so instead I watched TV) and I was in bed by 8:30.
That last bit, especially, is how I used to feel at the end of a day at work, and how I felt all thru my university years.
I also do today - today has consistend of being up at 5am, on a ferry at 6, in Wellington by 9, meetings until 4, back home by 8:30. All I crave right at the moment is the quiet of home, and thankfully, thats what we have (aside from the odd noisy bird and the cat).
Today is an exception tho. One day a fortnight. The rest of the time I'm standing.
Since moving to a standing desk, I've stopped having that feeling. I seldom fall asleep at my desk in the afternoon, even if I eat carbs, and I am usually champing at the bit at 6:30pm to go do some exercise. That didn't happen when I sat for 8 hours+ a day.
Thats one of the reasons why I backed this on Kickstarter
Moving to a standing desk has made some huge changes which I didn't expect. Recommended.