I’m ba-aaaccckk! Two weeks in a row of blogging – and I’m excited that, even after several years on this blog, this post will mark a new first: the first time writing a post from my phone rather than the computer.
Tonight, I spent the entire evening curled up in blankets on my couch. And it was glorious. Once I got home from cross country skiing, I ate supper and flopped on the couch, never to get up or be productive again. And I lived happily ever after. The end.
And that’s what I wanted to quickly chat about tonight: the ability to take a night off GUILT FREE. Because, believe me, I am fairly skilled at taking the night off when the situation calls for it, but being able to do it without feeling bad for not accomplishing something school related is still a struggle for me.
Being a planner/organizer type, I am in constant “get-ahead” mode. If I have a free moment, my brain is urging me to use it to plan for school. However, the tricky thing about teaching is that there is always something more to do. Which means I could spend every spare moment doing something school related and still have a to-do list.
Also, if I continued down the path of using every spare moment to accomplish school work, I would be burnt out in my first year of teaching.
Now that I have gotten a feel for the daily hustle and bustle of the profession, though, I can realize and appreciate that simply being able to take the night off is a planning/organizing success. There is nothing so dire or imminent that it needs doing today, because I already have a plan for tomorrow. (Of course, the planner/organizer in me also says, “Now that you have a plan for tomorrow, work on the plan for the next two weeks!” but that is something I am learning to let go and give myself some leeway with, as I am teaching everything for the first time, and much of it from scratch).
I have had times when I am planning a lesson the night before (or early morning of!) I have to teach it, and I have had (precious few) times where I don’t have to do any planning all week. I obviously prefer the times when I am further ahead, but I have also learned to let go of a lot of things for my own sanity and well being too. Also, I think these experiences are, in a way, the “badges of honor” of a first year teacher. It would be pretty sad if I could say I have mastered my profession of lifelong growing, changing, and learning in the first year.
That is truly an exciting part of being a teacher – constantly reinventing, tweaking, and transforming your practice as you (and pardon the shameless and cheesy self-advertising here) “learn to teach”. It has reached the point in the year where I am looking ahead to next year and already starting a list of goals that I would like to tackle in Year 2.
I may not have found that perfect balance or routine yet, but that is simply a goal for my next years of teaching. 🙂
Finally, I suppose the whole point of this post can be summed up in this haiku:
Please don’t feel guilty.
Go ahead, take the night off.
You deserve it, teach.
Until next time,