Rafe Esquith, the most imaginative and productive classroom teacher I know, freely admits he overdoes it.
He works long hours, including Saturdays.
He leads his fifth-graders in mounting several performances of a Shakespeare play each year. He helps former students prepare for college.
This summer, he has given speeches in China, taken former students to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, driven their luggage 700 miles, shown students several John Steinbeck haunts, done an 11-day tour for his new book and taken students on a Mississippi steamboat ride.
As hyper as he is, after 29 years of teaching mostly low-income Hispanic and Korean kids in a small, rundown classroom in Los Angeles, he knows what drains teacher energy and ambition.
In his new book, "Real Talk for Real Teachers," he describes this in ways I think nearly every teacher in the country would endorse:
The system, "rather than encourage and support you . . . actively works to discourage you," he writes.
"Every few years a new 'game changer' is announced as the newest set of standards are introduced, but the system never really changes.
Veteran teachers know that these standards are no different from the old ones.
"Taking a page from the politburo, leaders stand in the front of the room at professional development meetings making demands and predictions for their 'New World Order.' Good teachers don't know whether to laugh, cry or quit.
"The most recent sermon on the mount has come to us in the form of Common Core Standards.
"I am not making this up: The presenter at our first training explained that our job as teachers was 'to prepare the children to be a part of the international workforce.' We were also told that the emphasis on imaginative literature was going to be scaled back because children need more nonfiction."
Let's give the Cluelessness of the Year award to the presenter who said that to Esquith.