Three more months and that would have made one year of no teaching posts. ONE YEAR!!!
Well, I have been busy. Busy on so many different fronts I’ve run the risk of going bananas quite many times. I just cannot do anything half-heartedly. It’s either all in or nothing at all. I’ve been knitting, writing, taking lots of photography classes, living my life of a mom and wife, switching into Estonian, Swiss, English mode, getting excited about myriads of things, wanting to live and love with all the intensity I can muster. But boy, does that get exhausting! It’s like burning with a very bright flame but ending up in ashes way too fast!
I taught and PLN-ed in sixth gear all through the last year. Additionally, I got my first job as a teacher trainer, visited, analyzed, gave feedback on lessons, gave my first conference talk, wrote numerous blog posts, bought and borrowed stacks of books on teaching and tested different innovative activities and techniques with my students. I got to a level of that unhealthy excitement a child experiences when tickled right before the bedtime. I was mad! Happy, but over-excitedly nuts.
Then summer came, school stopped and I got all excited about all the other things.
Returning to school was tough this year. I felt inadequate, out of sync, not enthusiastic enough, and thus, not satisfied with my own performance. You know, giving myself a truly hard time. But even though it took some time, the teacher in me has been stirring, waking and stretching her muscles. And finally last week, after returning to regular reading of the posts of my dear PLN members, I felt the teacher hat like some magician’s top hat swallow me completely 🙂 I feel alive and kicking again. My reflective practice journal has been dusted, my enthusiasm made me smile while correcting my students’ papers and I got an urge to come and write this post on a Sunday when the sun is high up in the sky and the November warmth is softly caressing anyone’s cheek who is sane enough to go for a stroll (not me!).
But I don’t want to just turn a new page. What kind of a teacher am I if I cannot learn from my own mistakes?! I know I tend to jump right into the action discarding everything else, including my own sanity and health. And knowing myself, the same burn-brightly-till-the-ashes scenario can all to easily repeat itself.
So that’s where the tricky part starts. How to continue teaching in an enthusiastic, fulfilling, satisfactory way, yet keep parts of myself for other activities and other people beside my students and colleagues? How to preserve myself as long as possible? How to live and teach, not live to teach?
Even though I am tempted to rush wholeheartedly into the game again, I try to tread carefully. Maybe I should start weekly planning where time is allotted for different parts of my life and trespassing is strictly forbidden? Maybe I simply switch off all electronic devices for certain amounts of time every day / weekend? Maybe I should learn to rely on my ever growing experience and stop worrying if enormous amounts of lesson preparation hasn’t been done?
Does all that sound like gibberish to your ears or can anyone out there relate to what I’ve been babbling here? If the latter, have you unearthed the magic recipe for evenly-balanced life work formula?
Whichever part of my last questions made you nod vigorously, do come back here as there’s more to follow!