I made the decision after my internship that I would NOT take work home with me. I would not grade mountains of essays at home, I would not take power points home to finish. I would not take my Sundays to plan my entire week.
The trade off is that I have learned to use my planning time and school time more efficiently. I will even stay after school for an hour or two to get things done if it meant not taking work home.
I made the decision to keep my house…separate. I have a hard enough time falling asleep because I can’t turn my mind off from teaching / planning. During my internship, I couldn’t paint my nails, couldn’t shower, couldn’t cook meals during the week because I was so busy planning and grading and worrying and making documents that could be made during the 40 minutes of before school time. I vowed that I would not start that habit my first year teaching.
And I want to tell you….it has made all the difference. Now I realize a lot of this works because I am SUPER type A, super organized, super efficient, super list-y. This combination has allowed me to use every second I’m not teaching, to sit at my desk and use my time to get whatever I can done. But I can’t tell you how wonderful and HEALTHY it has made my first year. I needed my home to be a safe place. A place with less stress. Sure there are times where I’ve desperately needed to lesson plan for the next day but let’s be real here….we all have a slight idea of what we’re doing tomorrow. It can wait until I get to school with my textbook and I put a sticky note on the page. Now I realize again, this only works because I’m one of those people who generally walks in with a very vague idea and it comes together as I’m up there on the go. Not everyone is like that, and if you’re someone who needs to plan all those steps, I still recommend coming I earlier, or stay in a little later if you’re trying not to compromise that home space.
I just wanted to share something that I know has largely contributed to my legitimately wonderful first year. Try it out. It may make all the difference.
Having only taught one senior in my teaching history and solely 9th grade for the last three years, I’d like you to tell me some things: what are seniors like? how are they as students? what’s it like to interact with them in a teacher-student dynamic? things to avoid? things to be sure to do? anecdotes?
[An #education field study..]
[Post-script: rising or recent high school seniors are welcome to weigh in too..]