Year One, um sort of…

I read somewhere once about  a teacher who felt like his teaching became difficult or arduous during times when he wasn’t blogging. When he wasn’t reflecting, things just seemed to spiral out of control.

I really agreed with it at the time. I really thought that it made sense. Then I thought to myself that it can’t really make that much of a difference, can it?

I quit my daily updates about a week before my son was born. I was feeling the pressure of my first official year of teaching, and it hit me hard. I really needed to cut certain things out, so I could try to stay afloat. One of them was the 20 minutes I spent blogging while my puppy was digesting her breakfast and before I had to let her out before heading to work. Instead I was using that little bit of time to say good morning to my boy, change him or just watch him smile at me.

I figured that having a new child in life wouldn’t be so hard. Big mistake. Most ideas of marking or planning at a certain time were pushed aside to help him sleep, eat, roll around and so on. Things were going on the back burner fast, and I was staying up late, sleeping less and neglecting more than just my blogging. Yet, I didn’t push myself to reflect. Who has the time to reflect when you’ve got everything else on the go, and more and more and more and more…

I deluded myself into thinking that I could just keep swimming. Problem was/is, I’ve never been much of a swimmer. I would seek out assistance and ideas about anything and everything occasionally, but the holes of marking and biting off more than I could chew seemed almost too deep, and eventually something had to give.

It did. I lost focus. I lost grace. I lost a lot more than I realised this past week.

I forgot that I do need to think about my practices on paper. I need to air them out to see what it is I’m doing. I also need to let the negativity get out here or somewhere other than the classroom, so I can actually focus on the positives, and that learning really is awesome.

During one of my novel studies this week, a character said, “You need to stop blaming yourself.” One of the questions I posed to the class was, do you think that character understood what he was being told? We talked through it as a class for a bit, and I ended up saying that the more you blame and don’t accept, it clouds your choices in life. I told the students that if we only focus on how something shouldn’t have happened or could have been different, we forget to live and move forward.

All I can say is duh. I should really listen to what we discuss as a group and gain some insight into my own life. I need to remember why I love teaching, why I want to make a difference. The short answer is that I want to teach students to grow and want to make a difference in someone else’s life. These students will all outlive me, and hopefully, they will outgrow me in compassion and care. I forgot that I got into this field not just for the ABC’s, but to teach students how to use them to make this a better world.

My reflection and sanity can’t take a backseat. Something else has to give, so now I get up at 5 instead of 6:15. I take my dog for a walk. I read someone else’s blog, and work on mine. I still see my son at 7:00 to kiss him and remind myself that I will help make this a better world, so he can be a part of it.

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