Saturday, January 7, 2017

January 7, 2017 - Monthly Post #DITL

The following post is a contribution to the Day in the Life Book Project initiated by Tina Cardone:

Today is Saturday.  I had my alarm set for 5 am, as usual, but today when my alarm went off, I set a new one for 5:30.  I woke up feeling extra tired because I was up later last night than usual.  I laid in bed and dozed on and off until about 6 am.  My favorite thing about the weekend is being able to wake up slowly, and then lay in bed and play on my phone.

By 6:30, I remember that it's Saturday, which means that there is new content available in the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club.  I joined the club in hopes of achieving work-life balance.  Today was my first time logging in, and getting started.  I had to figure out how to get the audio file onto my phone so that I could play it in my car on the way to the gym.  By 7:30 I gave up and left for the gym.

I have about a 20 minute drive to get to the gym, so usually after my workout I run some errands in town.  Today I went to Dollar Tree and Target.  Usually in January Dollar Tree has new organizational items, so I picked up some baskets for my house and school, a calendar, organizers for my make-up, and some random DIY supplies.  Two items into scanning my order the cashier said, "Let me guess.  You're a teacher?"  I then went to Target for a new water bottle because mine broke and a few other things I needed.  I left with those items and three pairs of boots.  By the time I got home it was almost 11:30 (because I spent a good hour meandering around Target - I love shopping early in the morning when the stores are practically empty).  When I got home I showered and put away all of my purchases. 

Today my husband was away for a conference, and I decided that once I was home I was not going to leave.  I figured that today would be a good chance to relax alone.  I really didn't feel like I had a break last week when we were off from school.  I had only one day where I didn't have to participate in holiday festivities with family or host house guests.  I know that to most people, this would constitute a relaxing break; and I did enjoy spending time with my family and loved ones.  But I'm an introvert, and teaching is especially exhausting for me because I have to put extra effort into my personal interactions with students and colleagues.  I feel like I have to be "on" the whole day.  I feel similarly when spending time with friends and family, but not to the same extent.  Last week I never felt like I really got to hit the off switch, so break was not super refreshing for me. 

So today I just spent some time with myself.  I didn't do anything fun or exciting.  I did two loads of laundry, hung a shelf, re-organized a section of my closet, and I cleaned my kitchen.  I watched a little Netflix and YouTube, and spent some time just sitting.  I tried to get some grading done, but found it hard to stay motivated.  As I blog, I am trying not to agonize over the things that I could have done, but didn't.  I really have to rationalize with myself that I needed this time to unwind, and that not accomplishing much is not a bad thing.

Reflection Questions:
1.  Every person’s life is full of highs and lows. Share with us some of what that is like for a teacher. What are you looking forward to? What has been a challenge for you lately?

I feel like my past school week had its highs and lows.  We came back from break on Tuesday, and that day we had a much appreciated two-hour delay.  On my first day back I felt great, and I was happy to be with my students again.  On Wednesday, we had a department meeting that took half of the day, so it was like having a mini-break from the regular teaching duties.  Thursday was a normal school day, but I felt like it was a Thursday of a regular, full school week, and I was looking forward to Friday.  Friday ended up being the craziest day for me.  I advise the senior class, and our t-shirt order arrived.  All of my prep periods were devoted to counting, organizing, and distributing the shirts, while being interrupted by students eager to get the shirts they ordered.  Many realized that they want a shirt that they didn't order, so I had to figure out if and how to go about ordering more.  I had to stay an hour late to finish all of my regular duties.  It was frustrating, but worth it to see my senior so excited.
 
2.  Teachers are always working on improving, and often have specific goals for things to work on throughout a year.

One of my biggest goals this year to achieve a work-life balance.  I believe I've finally started making progress in this area.  I've devised a plan to implement a weekly routine to get all of my planning done, and I joined the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club.  I can't wait to start implementing small ways to save time and streamline my teaching procedures.

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