It’s been 6 weeks into my teaching practicum and while I love the school and the students, I’ve also realised that I need to draw the line somewhere. These past 6 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and sleepless nights. I am so intent on doing my best for my students that it’s coming at the expense of too much else. Perhaps it’s my lack of experience that is slowing me down since it takes me a long, long time to craft a lesson I hope the students will find meaningful and engaging. I’ve just had one of the craziest weeks so far and when I look back upon my achievements- am I proud? Not really. I’m more relieved than anything. Relieved that I’d survived but regretful, mostly. I regret the fact that I’d said only 10 sentences to my husband from Monday to Friday this week. I regret the fact that I probably said even less to my parents. I regret that I’ve abused my body in epic ways- forcing it to stay up at ungodly hours, hurling food down too fast, going for too long without spiritual/ physical rest or sustenance.
Then I came across this article on Edutopia and this:
- Maintain your ‘other life’.
It’s OK if teaching is your life as long as you have a life outside of your classroom. I see this a lot in new teachers, especially if they are in their early 20s and just starting out. You want to be the best teacher you can. You’ve been dreaming of this moment for years. Now you’re here and determined to launch headfirst into an instantly successful career. You’re figuring out lesson planning, grading, managing student behavior, and classroom procedures. You’re up until midnight and up at 6:00 AM. Your weekends are spent grading and planning. This is an easy road to burnout. Go for a short weekend trip, get lunch with an old friend, go to the gym during the week, or go for a bike ride. (Exercise relieves stress!) Spend some time when you are not thinking about the classroom, and stay connected to your support group of friends and family”
really made me reconsider what I was doing and why I was doing it. Do I love my job? Definitely. Do I want it to be sustainable? Yes. Do I want to look back at my career in 20 years time and remember only the late nights and how little time I’ve spent on anything else? No, no, no.
I want balance and a long term mentality. I don’t want to burst like a supernova in the first year then fizzle out after. I am new at this so like I’m going to give myself time to learn the ropes. More importantly, I’m going to give myself room to make mistakes.
So I thought about what is important to me; things that I’d still want in my life 20 years from now and I came up with the top 5 things that I considered essential in my life:
- A deep and genuine relationship with God
- Quality time and connection with my family and friends
- A healthy body and mind
- Connection and service to the community ( I suppose my job falls into this category haha)
- Constant reflection, learning and self- improvement (trying new things)
For the longest time, I haven’t been blogging because I felt it was no longer important but I’ve realised that I really love this space. It de-stresses me and give me space to reflect on life. So even if the next week looks to be crazy, I want to jot down these moments because these moments of reflection aren’t procrastination, they are fuel for harder times ahead.
I don’t know how you might be feeling at this moment. Maybe you are feeling really overwhelmed. Maybe you are anxious about the future. I don’t know. But what I know is that time will pass anyway. May it take with you what you consider important as well 🙂