1. Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting.
In the work place we recommend that people get up and move around occasionally to refresh and energize themselves, and to avoid injuries. But in most classrooms students are told to sit still and work quietly, while the teacher is up on their feet moving around. All that sitting can actually wear you out because the blood's not moving and you're being completely passive. Your body starts to feel horrible. It can be tricky, but it's important to "read" your students and recognize when they need a break to recharge. Instead, why not create lessons and run your classroom in a way that students get a chance to move around, interact and wake up their bodies and minds. Last semester we had reptiles in the classroom and we would try to take 5 or 10 minutes in the middle of a 2 hour block to get everyone up and go outside to feed one of the lizards its daily greens. This was both refreshing and entertaining, and it kept the students awake and alert.
2. High School students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90% of their classes.
The majority of classrooms are very teacher-centered, with the students listening passively and not interacting with their classmates, the teacher or the material. Learning can work so much more effectively if the students are actually participating or creating. Students need activities and participation in order to get the most out of their learning. Be sure to get their feedback on what they might be confused about so that you can address their concerns and reteach or clear up misconceptions.
3. You feel a little bit like a nuisance all day long.
It's easy for teachers to get annoyed with repeated questions and requests from students who were not paying attention or were busy with work. That annoyance can turn to sarcasm and exasperation directed at the students. How awful that must make them feel when a teacher rolls their eyes and huffs and puffs simply because they're asking a question. We need to dig deep into ourselves to find the patience and tolerance to realize that we all can get distracted and that it's not a crime to ask for clarification.
I really appreciate this story and it's hugely valuable to read it at this point in my career, just as I'm beginning. It's great to be able to benefit from the lessons of veteran teachers. I encourage all to read the story.