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May 03

Chasing balance: my biggest concern about teaching #edBlogaDay

balanceI have a weakness. It is finding balance in my life. There are 14 school days left in the year, and I am using this to justify the long days at school, the weekends filled with work, and hours spent in front of my laptop. However, there is always an excuse for me; the time of year rarely matters.

But you know what? I shouldn’t think this is okay. Our profession should not place demands  on us that require almost as many hours working outside the classroom as we spend inside the classroom. Now, I know not all teachers spend hour upon hour a week working, but I think most, if not all, of the great ones do. Why? Because we care about our students, our profession, and the world.

In the process of caring so much, we forget about someone very important in our classroom.

Ourselves.

We neglect balance in our lives and justify it because we are working with kids and impacting the future. I am the worst at this. I generally start a year with some semblance of balance, but as the year progresses, I become more and more unbalanced. By the time I reach this point of the year, my entire life is school, and I have lost all sense of balance.

This summer, my goal will be to find balance and to establish a plan to maintain balance throughout the school year. I need to find balance between what happens inside of school and what I need to do outside (like take care of me, my husband, my dog, my cats, my house, etc.) Will it be easy? No. Do I always manage my time well? No. Is there a huge room for improvement? Absolutely.

How do you find balance?

Note: I wrote about a similar topic a month ago, so obviously this is a huge weakness for me! Just Breathe

 

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  1. Sheri Edwards

    I agree with you. I’ve been the two sunny days working this weekend so different departments can have the data they need to move on. There isn’t time in the day, and no one else can do it. Time is the most important issue to me — and the degradation of the teaching profession by believing that a “test” made by someone else will provide better information to guide teachers. It doesn’t, and we the only choice is to feed that test prep because those tests weigh so much on the label of students, the school, and the teachers. Education is in a sad place right now. What do we do? Thanks for your honest reflection.

    1. Janelle

      Yes – the entire testing culture is a problem. I hope change comes soon.

  2. Laura Coughlin

    You’re right that many of the most dedicated teachers (and administrators) do much of their work outside of the classroom and FAR after the school day. One thing I have noticed myself doing, which concerns me, is when I notice a teacher NOT spending hours outside of the classroom on school-related work I tend to assume that they are short-changing their students in some way instead of assuming that they have mastered the art of balance, which is not a fair assumption to make. We cannot, as a profession, make it an unspoken expectation that all teachers MUST work late nights 7 days a week in order to be a quality teacher. I wish you luck in finding a plan to maintain balance.

    1. Janelle

      Laura, I find myself doing the same thing with teachers who don’t “live” at school. Perhaps instead I should ask them how they find the balance!

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