Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Walking the Balance Tightrope

When I was younger and a gymnast, one of my strongest events was the balance beam. I thought I was quite the expert on balance... and maybe I still am... at least the physical act of balancing on a narrow surface or on one leg. But balance between home, school, and blogging? I am finding out I still have quite a bit to learn.

I have done plenty of long-term subbing jobs, but most were before I started blogging. And I even did a really long subbing job right after I started the blog, but that was before my fan base really started to grow and I was involved in several collaborative blogs, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. When that job ended, I got used to having all day at home by myself to take care of all blogging business.

I knew my current second grade long-term position was coming, but I got surprised that it started a week earlier than expected... go figure! The teacher's baby had other ideas! I stepped into a classroom that the teacher didn't think she was going to be leaving so soon either. So there was a week's worth of ungraded papers and lots of things left when she had left the previous day. I felt like I started the position a week early, but already a week behind. Then I came in, had my own lessons to plan and assignments to grade. And (of course) the following weekend my family had already planned to go out of town for a school field trip. Not much teaching work was happening then... so now I am into my second week, but still two weeks behind.

This week, I have been trying to do little bits in the evening while still spending time with my husband and children. But that doesn't leave much time for blogging. I continue to work to find that secret sweet spot of balance between all the aspects of my life. I know this is not a unique problem for me... or even for teachers, but it is one I feel is important to solve. I just keep trying different recipes and hoping that I can hit on the perfect solution.

Currently, here is the plan. Grade little bits each night until I get caught up there. Plan on Sundays for the week ahead. Blog on Tuesday nights (my husband works every Tuesday so I have some time at home) for sure and additional nights as it is available. And spend the rest of the time with family. I think if I can get past the caught-up part that this will work. How do you find balance in your life?

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I found your blog through Pinterest and had to explore.

    I know school is out for the summer, but I thought I would share a tip that my cooperating teacher gave me when I was student teaching at the 3rd grade level. It might be too late for you, but other teachers might get some use out of it, or you might be able to try it next year.

    Plan one or two subjects for the next week each day during my plan time Monday through Thursday. That way, when I had plan time on Friday, my lesson plans were complete and I was able to make my copies for the week and gather materials. Then I sorted the copies/materials into file folders. I used one file for each day of the week and kept subjects sorted with binder clips, but a person could also use one folder for each subject, each day (Monday – Social Studies, Monday – Reading, Monday – Math, etc.). It might also help to list the times for teaching each subject. I did not mind taking student work home to grade; however, I used assignments/activities from several different resource books, so that made planning from anywhere but my classroom quite a hassle. I also found that I got distracted more easily when I tried to work on my lesson plans from home.

    I was an emergency substitute during a couple of semesters while I was an undergrad. I plan to sub again this year, after having my own 6th grade reading/language arts classroom in a middle school setting for the past 3 years, in addition to working as a graduate teaching assistant and taking courses for my master’s degree. So, I know how much easier it is to fill in for a teacher who leaves good lesson plans and how, in my own classroom, it was much easier to return to find that the sub was a good one. It looks like you are a wonderful sub(stantial) teacher! I look forward to reading more of your blog.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...