It’s Sunday evening and I’ve had the most productive afternoon. I’ve written my math lesson plan for the week (my team and I collaborate so that each of us only have to write one math plan per week — so nice!), gotten my homework ready, and sketched out my tentative week. I’m feeling good about the week to come and most of all, I’m feeling prepared.
Upon finishing my long to-do list for school things today, I realized something: it’s Sunday and I’m very productive. Why and how is this so?
I decided that I’m so effective in my planning on Sundays because I’ve taken time for myself over the weekend. I’ve gotten a lot of sleep, filled myself up at church, gone on a run or two, watched some TV or a movie, seen friends, treated myself to some shopping — all of these things were for ME, not for school. I didn’t even think about school while I did these things.
One of the things that I will never forget from my time in the School of Education was my professors always talking about taking time for myself. They talked about how important it was for teachers to do this on a regular basis, and I understood that concept while I was in school, but I’ve quickly realized that this is much harder to practice once actually teaching. By yourself. In your own classroom.
It’s been very obvious that I have become consumed with this job, and it’s sadly taken away from my personal life. I’ve only just recently started integrating normal people activities into my life — I’m trying to run after school to prep for my 5K in November, I’m trying to get dinner with people or see people during the week.
This is not easy.
What makes this hard is my perfectionist attitude and the fact that I have to use what happened the previous day during class to structure the next day’s instruction. Teaching is a constantly reflective practice.
Now that I’ve come to the realization that I really do need to take better care of myself during the week, I am really going to make more of an effort to do so. I will leave by 5:30pm every night, I will run at least three days during the week, and I will watch Parks and Recreation on Thursday night.
These might be baby steps, but I think they’ll help ensure my students that their teacher can be her best for them since she’s taking care of herself so that she can ultimately take care of them.