Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Balance

My Dear Readers-
Something that I struggle with is finding the balance between school and a personal life. I am five years into my career as a teacher and so by now I should know what I'm doing, right? And yet, I still find myself pulling the 10, 11, or 12 hour days and working just as hard as I did my first year. There are some things that are getting easier; I have a better grasp of the subjects taught and the content in them. I know more about what students can reasonably do and what we can get done in a day. And I know more about what what is expected from me.
I think my problem is that I'm not satisfied with what or how I'm teaching. I think that even though we do have things already prepared, I am looking for ways to improve, to expand, to clarify, and to add. It seems like I can't get through a year without wanting to redo everything that I did to make it better.
A good problem, right? But in doing so and wanting to "remake" my class every year, I find that it takes a lot of time to do so. Where, then, is the balance between giving all my free time to redoing lessons and making them better and just continuing what I did last year so that I can have something that resembles a personal life? I suppose that at some point there has to be a time where I say that I can't do more than I'm already doing and am just going to have to recycle lessons used last year. I feel defeated in doing so, but I guess reasonably there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything that I could do. That seems like a rather elementary thought.
Thanks for reading the ramble. I feel better now.


  1. I hear you, Dan. I think it's just wanting to be better! I wonder sometimes why some veteran teachers are out the door at 3:45 or some teachers can coach and never take anything home. I think it's ok to pull out last year's lesson if it worked. Don't feel weird about it. I am in my 3rd year of teaching at my current school in the same grade level and I am beginning to feel weird pulling the same things out from the past two years. The thing is, it's not new to you, but it's new to the students.

  2. Exactly...if you did something before, and the kids liked it, and you liked it, and everybody learned, why not do it again? PLUS, it won't be exactly the same...the kids are different, you are different, you will change little subtleties you didn't like last time...

    To me, reusing things from year to year is the exact same as using someone else's plans or ideas from the it's proven to work, why not use it, because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is if the kids learned what you wanted them to...right?