Thursday, September 20, 2007


In the past, I've stayed at work WAY beyond the normal day, trying to stay a step ahead of everything. It's worked...sort of.

Like all of us, I have 24 hours in my day. That's it. No more. I've tried to get more, but it just hasn't worked yet. Well, I also have 7 days in my week. I don't mind working a 5 day workweek, but I need a 3 day weekend. Two days to get all my "stuff" done to keep the household running smoothly, and a day to just sit back and do what I want to do for ME. So far that 8th day hasn't miraculously appeared in my calendar.

Friday nights were my "late" nights at school. Many times I would stay until sometime between 9 and 10:30 pm. The other days of the week, I would still be at school at 5 or 6 pm. My home life suffered BIG TIME because of this, and I vowed to try to become more organized and spend less time there.

I share a small classroom with two other teachers. They both leave the building by 3:00 every day. What's up with me??? Why do I feel like I HAVE to stay to make sure everything is perfect for the children I work with? Why do I feel like I have to go "above and beyond" to be successful? It's driving me crazy.

This school year I've promised myself that I will not put any more time in the building than I absolutely NEED to. So far, so good.

Usually I'm in the building by the second week in August, trying to get the room ready and pulling all my stuff out of the boxes it was stored in all summer and getting it out. My goal was to have everything ready to go before our first official day, our work day. This year I did NOT go in to school before our scheduled work day. It took all I had to stay away, but I did it. Not only was it good for me, but it was good for my family.

Since school began, I stayed late ONE day, but was still out of there before 4:00. It's taking a lot of work to stay half a step ahead of things, but so far, so good.

Unfortunately I'm beginning to lose ground. It's becoming more and more difficult to be prepared for the next few days. As of right now, I am prepared for only the next three days, and I'm beginning to feel the panic setting in.

Friday afternoons I'm scheduled to do planning with all the teachers that I teach with. That's really is. It's helpful to me, and to them. HOWEVER, by the time I finish planning with all the teachers, I'm left with about half an hour to get myself prepared...get out the books I'll need for the following week, re-read them, go over the lesson plans for them, create any vocabulary sheets I may need, find pictures of vocabulary words that the kids may not be familiar with, and develop several short (5 minute or so) lessons for the skill that the teachers are focusing on for the week...TIMES TWO... because I teach two different grade levels.

This year I'm also spending two afternoons a week at our 5th/6th grade building, doing reading and math intervention. This also requires planning, but so far I've just been sort of getting my feet wet and not really doing any teaching, thank goodness. Next week, when that starts, it will probably be total chaos.

I'm very lucky to have a career in a field that I really enjoy, doing what I love to do.


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, I stay one night a week too, my night is usually Thursday and I stay until 8:oo pm, I have to be at school by 6:45 a.m. Each year I come up with one more strategy to get organized and that makes me proud of myself. This year I hit our Staples Office store hard during their penny sale, if you had your teacher ID you could get a classroom set (25)of their penny items so I got 25 pencil sharpeners for a penny each, 25 packages of pencils (8 count each), 25 pencil boxes for a penny each, etc. Then I got the two for one 50cent scissors, etc. I also got 5 clear cans that look like clear paint cans and put four pair of scissors, highlighters, pencil sharpener, erasers, marking pens, everything that I need them to have for the activities I do with them. It has been so awesome, the kids are always prepared, each child keeps a pencil box on a shelf in my room and if they don't have one they go to their emergency stash of pencils and at the end of the period they have to return it so they have it for my room at a later date. I also have a scrounger's can, these are pencils that I find in the hallway on the floor, they all know that I get them off the floor or from custodians who save them for me so if they really need to scrounge for a pencil for their other classes they can take one of those.Anyway, like you I struggle to find enough hours in the day especially taking two graduate classes and teaching at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I am going to tell you this on the blog because hopefully by Monday, you will not want to shoot me. When I was in the office running copies of Bessie, I had, well you know, issues, and well, Beth was "helping" me. She took YOUR GOOD COPY of the book and before I could stop her, she wrote "SAMPLE" across the front with a blue marker. I PROMISE I will get you a clean, new copy on Monday! Sorry!