Teaching is a balancing act. I am out of balance.
My job could be so easy. I have a text book that tells me what to do each day. It comes with a workbook that includes class activities and homework. It comes with another book that includes tests and quizzes. It even has another book with worksheets for special ed students, ESL students, and another book with activities complete with directions. I could teach, make good money, without having to think or be creative. There is no request from anyone that I innovate, stimulate, create, or simply be great. I just need to cover a curriculum, and raise test scores on a couple questions of our state standardized test. I can just give material, and then assess what the kids remember. Every assessment is simple to grade, each kid gets reduced to a grade, class becomes about grades.
My days could look like this:
Read text with kids
Do questions in text
And during those days I only need to worry about grading what the kids spit back on the assessments that come with the textbook. I don’t even need to know the answers because they are provided for me!
I would have so much more extra time in my life if I followed the formula above. I would have more time during vacations. I would have less stress. I would never have a complaint from a kid or parent. No one would want me to change. I am seriously thinking about going traditional in one class to eliminate complaints I am receiving about not following the formula above. Why not? Now don’t you dare start thinking about “the kids.”
What about my kids? Don’t they deserve a relaxed daddy when he gets home?
What about me? Don’t I deserve to have been able to sleep soundly last night, and not have woken up hours early with “that email” in my head.
“That email” would have never come over and over this year if I just followed the formula.
Why be different?
I honestly did wake up early this morning with “the email” in my head, wrote this post, and then let it sit open for a while. The more I relaxed, the more the post comes across as whining. I am writing a post about “one email,” one opinion being voiced every few weeks. I am out-of-balance. It is “my” issue not being able to deal with one frown in my class of smiles. I shouldn’t let one opinion ruin my year. But in the back of my head I know how much power one opinion can have. One opinion can easily convince the system to make me teach according to the “the rules.” It can “make me” be traditional. But if this is who I am at this point, I still wonder why not take actions to place me in balance. Why not go traditional? Why not follow the formula with at least one class and end the emails? Maybe removing 90% of my stress would allow me to do more with the other classes?
I suppose many teachers have trouble balancing their lives. I know I am not the only one after reading other’s posts. I just feel sometimes that what I give ends up not feeding my spirit…but leads to it being eaten away.
Sometimes it’s just hard to look on the brighter side of life…sometimes it’s hard to not be distracted by that one frown in your room of smiles.