Saturday, December 29, 2012

Balancing all of Life's Blessing- A Linky Party

It has been over a month since my last post and as much as I L-O-V-E love this online teaching community, I haven't missed it all that much

Here is why I'm okay with this. I spent most of the summer immersed in any and everything school related. I spent the first months of school with school blinders on. School consumed my thoughts and most of my time. 

What I realized is that I had a six year old and a four year old who were missing their mama. And I had a husband who was tired of eating chicken nuggets and french fries for dinner. I spent so much time pouring everything that I had into my classroom and my students, that the people who should matter most were being short changed. 

So I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate the way that I was prioritizing my time. Boy was my scale tipped in the wrong direction. 

Here are a few things that I have been doing at home and at school to make sure that I keep the right balance between the blessings God has put in my life.

1. Importance-o-Meter
When my kids (my own, not my students) ask me to come see something that they've made or ask for my help with something I try to avoid saying, "Not right now" or "In a minute" because in all actuality what I'm doing is NOT that important. It's more important for my kids to know that I care enough about them to put that laundry down for one second

2. Keep work at work
I know this is practically impossible for teachers to comprehend, and is actually unavoidable sometimes. Keyword there: sometimes If something doesn't get done during my school day and if it's not critical that it be attended to prior to the next school day, then I leave it at school. I haven't brought home anything to grade or work on for a few weeks and it has been great!

3. Grade Selectively
I started the year off recording every-single-paper that we did in class. (I say "recording" because thank the good Lord that I have a T.A. who grades a ton of stuff for me!) Each week I was recording 7+ math papers alone. I was drowning in paperwork! My new goal: select only a few things to grade each week and implement more hands-on activities that may not necessarily need to be graded, but that are certainly more memorable for my students than another workbook page.   

4. Write it down
If I write something down I have a much better chance of remembering it. That's just one of the ways that I learn and I've known this about myself since high school. But with the iPhone age raging along, I have tried--unsuccessfully--to keep all of my imporant dates in the calendar app, and my shopping list in a grocery app, and my notes in the notes app. For some reason it doesn't work for me. Trust me, I love technology, but in this area of my life I cannot use it for planning my schedule, meals, shopping, or things I need to remember. I had to go  back to the old school paper and pencil calendar book. Mine is great though because it has a spot for a to-do list, shopping list, and meal plan. Hopefully a post will be coming soon about it. I haven't felt this organized in a long time!

My list could go on for quite a long time, so I'll stop here. But I want to know...what do you do to balance all of the blessings in your life? What are your top tips for all of those mommy-teachers out there? Link up and let us know. If you don't have a blog to link up then leave your top tip in the comments. I'd love to hear from you!