January 29, 2007


Thank you well-wishers for noticing (and notifying me) about my record of childish mood from NEA Today.

Note to self. Some people are reading this blog. You should present yourself in a better light.

Not today, though. Today I am juggling life, and it's not going well. I've always been a juggler, but sometimes I have to admit that I'm not good at it, and something has to give. Today it's yearbook deadlines snapping at my heels--and frankly I'm probably going to lose some toes over it. Grrr.

This weekend I was reflecting on my blogging business here. When I started this blog a few years ago, it was my project for the Southern Nevada Writing Project. I wanted to write more, and I wanted to figure out this business so I could use it with my students. I didn't have much focus. I floundered for about 6 months and then I finally found some great edubloggers. I don't consider myself an edublogger because I am not blogging about education very deeply. I envy those bloggers who are more critical writers. I just can't seem to gather my thoughts in enough reflection for that.

I am a teacher blogger, though. Or rather a teacher who blogs about life.

I wish I'd had an outlet like this ten years ago when I was a new teacher. I can sympathize with some of the new teacher bloggers out there. Been there, done that. Gave myself a lot of gray hair. Most weekdays I had at least 10 hours of contact time with students. Most years I had to give up my weekends to sporting events. I had three preps, drama, yearbook, newspaper, school improvement committee, professional development trainer, concession stand, and whatever else I was sucked into.

I did drag myself out to dinner or the bar with my teacher friends. Half the time I was so tired, but I desperately wanted to have some fun that didn't have anything to do with my job. No matter what, Thursday nights were our my fun nights. Consequently, Friday mornings weren't too pleasant.

In those years I also took a few fun classes when I had time, like photography (which I needed to learn for my job) and pottery. Pounding clay is a good way to relieve stress, and then throwing pots in a kick wheel erases your mind from anything other than the clay in your hands. Heaven!

I also tried to have a social life outside my drunken teacher friends by dating. Dating is for the young, by the way, not divorcees with consuming careers. Ugh. I could have told some stories.

Until a few years ago when I moved to southern Nevada, my life was my teaching and my students. Friends, fun, and finding a mate were secondary and often took a back seat. I am lucky to have my husband because he came to me in an April. It was a busy year when I had every minute of every day planned until the end of the year. I actually told him he was a nice guy but I didn't have time for him at that moment in my life. He stayed and wooed me anyway.

Now my life is more about my family and about ME. All too often, my teaching and my students take the back seat. I still try to juggle, but this juggler is getting old. My coordination isn't as good anymore. Sometimes I feel intense guilt when I don't do as well in the classroom as I should. I don't manage my time as well. I don't give enough feedback. I can't come up with innovative ways to present the content. I'm brain dead sometimes.

So these thoughts I have of my students, my family, my interests--my daily drama--this is a teacher's life. Some days I feel like a juggler in a 3rd rate circus, but no, I'm a teacher.

Teaching is not just a job. It's a lifestyle. That's my daily struggle.

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