…Back to Reality.”
Remember that song? (I’m really dating myself here. You might not even know this song! It’s kind of old…)
Regardless, this song really speaks to me right now. My reality: I am a teacher. Not only that, I am one who strives to do her best, to self-reflect, and to improve. To be in a constant stage of self-reflection and improvement is time-consuming. And do we know what will suffer because of this time-consuming pursuit of professional development? Of course, we do. I don’t even want to say it…
My sewing. My sewing with suffer.
And that saddens me. “Back from a fantasy…yeah.”
Don’t get me wrong. As soon as my new students walked into my classroom, it was on! It was great meeting them and bumping into last year’s kids. But I also know how great it feels to sew. If one of my goals is constant self-improvement, both professionally and personally, the I must resolve to find the balance.
One of my FB friends and fellow Latin teachers shared a link to a CNN blog post by Rebecca Mieliwocki titled “My View: Advice to a new teacher” While her post was directed towards new teachers, Mieliwocki’s points apply to any professional:
8.Take care of yourself. Teachers, especially new ones, naturally invest insane amounts of time lesson-planning, grading, searching for new curriculum materials and attending to teaching duties. It’s a never-ending stream of work, work you love, but work all the same. Teacher burnout isn’t a myth, it’s a reality. Be aware of this and become protective of you-time. Carve out two nights a week and one whole weekend day for yourself and nothing else. Read, travel, garden, exercise, cook. Whatever you do, do it for you.
Don’t become your job. Instead, let your job become a beautiful reflection of the person you are and makes you the crazy great teacher kids love having.
To feel truly fulfilled, I must heed these words and find the balance between my professional and personal interests.
Here’s to balance!