When I reflect back on my weekends as a teacher, I get a knot in my stomach. Toward the end of my teaching career, I was swamped with students. It was nothing like the beginning of my career when I had small classes and not a lot of take-home work to do.
But just two years ago, I was teaching six straight classes without a break, save for lunch. And I had so many students that extra desks had to be brought in to hold them. I believe I topped out at 193 students. Just between us folks, that's several carloads too many.
So by the first weekend of the school year, I was bringing home mountains of work to grade. When you have that many in a room, you just don't have time to even begin grading papers during the period. So my weekends consisted of sitting in the recliner with a seven-inch tall stack of papers, grading them one by one. Often, I didn't have enough time to finish, and I'd begin the week in arrears. Those ungraded papers would hang over me like Edgar Allen Poe's pendulum, slowing slicing away at my outlook on teaching.
It was one of the main reasons I retired a couple years ahead of when I wanted. Needless to say, I enjoy my Sats and Suns so much more these days. I have my life back.