This writing is just one educator's view from this side of the desk.
One of the wonderful aspects of being an educator is that once a year we get to have a fresh start. Every Aug/Sept, we begin anew with a new group of students, and for students, they get new teachers. At times, we switch to new positions or new schools. This is one perk of my profession that I relish! I love being able to revamp courses and assignments, and most of all, I like have a “do over.”
And with this “do over” mentality, I go into the fall semester feeling refreshed and ready – ready to take on all the negatives that seem so insurmountable to overcome in February each year.
For the past few years, I have taken on one particular task to focus on and do well with over the course of the new school year. Last year I worked on work/personal life balance. I made a promise to myself that I would not work on weekends. I would take that time for my own private world. With the exception of 3-4 weekends, I was able to accomplish it! My attitude and work ethic changed dramatically. I realized I had to work harder during the week to get everything accomplished and could not allow myself to be lazy on a random Wednesday afternoon. Part of this promise to myself meant I had to reap the consequences of not getting work completed if it wasn’t finished by Friday afternoon. For several months, that was quite difficult to not have weekends to finish up projects or start new ones. At times, I was not fully prepared for the coming week. But after being unprepared a few weeks, I quickly got my time in order during the week. In the end, I was able to enjoy my life each weekend free of the stress of work. On Monday morning, I faced my students and tasks with a much better attitude. I wasn’t exhausted by small annoyances so easily. Ultimately – I was happier. And that made me a better teacher.
This year my goal is to improve my organization. I begin each year with everything organized, but then it slips. I get lazy; I get busy. I don’t STAY organized. So this coming year I hope to remain organized even if it takes a few extra minutes each day to get my desk in order for the next day. I’m taking this on because I think that if I get certain routines in order and established as habit, then on down the road, I will be able to actually save time and stress for myself.
No matter what I pick each year, the hope is always that I will come out a better teacher at the end of nine months.