2018 has come, and right alongside it, the creation of this website. My husband and I are seeking a balance between growing this business, growing our family, and growing as teachers. One of our resolutions as a couple is to contribute to a website to support all three of those growth areas. So, without further ado, here goes the first blog post.
I always find myself in a funny place at the beginning of the calendar year while in the middle of the school year. There is some closure with the end of a semester, but there is still so much to be done before spring and summer breaks. It’s unresolved, and a bit untidy.
However, as a teacher of literature, I have to remember that this gray area is where I get to bring in my own interpretation and spin on things. This space between two semesters is a space to refocus and reflect while still having the opportunity to bring that perspective and growth mindset to the same group of students I had first semester. I almost always bite off more than I can chew, but my Pinterest quote board proclaims that “All great changes are preceded by chaos,” so I tell myself I must be on to something great.
My teaching career is seven years old, and in all of those seven years, I have struggled to find the balance between home and work. I refuse to believe that as a teacher I must also be a martyr, bearing the “necessary” burden of evenings and weekends sacrificed to grading and planning. I will, for the sake of my career as a human, mother, wife, and teacher, intentionally prioritize finding a healthy balance. With that tension in mind, and in light of the New Year, I present some personal goals on how to seek said balance.
1) More self time. To make this more concrete, I have something to address my physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Physical: Leg exercises to strengthen my knees (as a distance runner since my middle school years, they and I have been in conflict for a couple decades).
Mental: Stress relief via adult coloring book. I always feel scandalous saying that. It’s not “adult” in content, just in complexity.
Spiritual: Couples journaling with my husband.
2) Blogging. I find such validation in writing. My goal for this blog is to post twice a month during the school year, sharing both practical and motivational pieces for teachers.
3) Genuine connections with students and colleagues. As a borderline introvert, this one takes intentionality on my part. However, I feel the most motivated to improve my work as a teacher when I have those off-the-cuff connections with my students and colleagues, however awkward, vulnerable, or time-consuming they may be. Building time for these connections into my school day is a challenge that I choose to face because of the value, that heart-tugging value, that people in service-based professions seem to gravitate towards. It’s the messiness of it all that we love, the sorting of said mess into meaning, then action, then strength. And, for me, it all starts with those connections that help us realize we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
Comments? Questions? Ideas for a future blog post? I’m all ears!