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.
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!