Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finding Balance.

Last week was probably the worst week of teaching yet. It was bound to happen sooner or later with  the incredibly amounts of stress building up on multiple levels. It was the first week were I legitimately was like, "I would be ok if I got hit by a bus today on the way to work. It's not that I want to die, more so I just would rather not go to work." It was the type of week were you envied everyone else's job: the garbage man, the people passing out newspapers outside the subway, the sandwich shop guys, seriously their life looked amazing How come they are so fortunate?  ANYTHING has to be better than teaching.

 But now that I've had a much needed weekend to recover, I am doing much better. I owe this largely to my friends in NYC and my mentor who teaches science across the hall. I would describe my mentor as bubbly but direct, an interesting combination when you consider it, but I really like that about her. She's always telling me "No one's going to die, everything's going to be fine and well if it's not then it WILL be soon." She doesn't let me make excuses and doesn't let me get away with any pity parties, which is a very good thing because like she has said, I'm not the only world who has ever done this before AND I'm getting most of my Masters paid for so have little to no reason to be complaining. It's good for me to hear that. I don't think anyone in my life has ever called me a complainer and I certainly don't want to become one now.

 She has been the most influential and helpful person in shaping me as an educator and I also really really appreciate that. She's in my classroom at least once a week and always gives me good, critical, and helpful feedback- much better than anyone else who has observed me so I greatly appreciate that. Also, it has been really good to have her mentor me because she was also a Teaching Fellow 7 years ago and isn't that much older than me, which is nice because we can relate to similar things. Plus she has a wealth of knowledge about education, NYC, and science opportunities; I am very fortunate to have her as my mentor.

One thing that has been very helpful for me as a first year teacher is that I have been very determined to "have a life." Now I don't really know how one goes about measuring if you have a life or not, but my goal was to work hard enough so I have free time to do whatever I want AND to be able to do that I have implanted the new rule into my life: I will NOT spend more than 4 hours a day lesson planning. Period. It is completely unnecessary for me to spending more time than that lesson planning a day (and when I say lesson planning I mean creating the lesson, powerpoint, worksheets, making copies, getting materials etc). If I don't finish my lesson plans by the end of the four hours.. tough. I have been inefficient with my time and certainly giving myself more time isn't going to make me a more effective teacher. In the end, no ones going to die, it will be fine. This is my new philosophy and so far I really like it! It gives me an excuse to stop and actually makes me work harder. I don't go on facebook, I don't go read blogs, when I work, I work. When I'm not, I'm not. It's a much better system. Theoretically under this system I should be able to get 8 hours of sleep and 4 hours of free time a day. WOW life is looking so much better.

Rockefeller Tree
So that being said, I had a wonderful weekend! I went and saw the Tree at Rockefeller Center. For those that are not familiar, every year they bring in a GIGANTIC tree and place it right in front of the Rockefeller Center near the ice-skating. I had never seen it so I adventured up to Midtown, which tends to be rare for me, considering I rarely leave Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan. Upper Manhattan is SO beautiful.. tons of lights and just has that glamor that Midtown (aka "movie-style image of NYC") all around it. It's very grand and fun at night. It feels magical like anything could happen and it still gives me butterflies being in that setting even though I've lived here for 6 months now. I can't believe it has been that long!!

I'm really looking forward to looking at all the fancy Christmas windows down 5th Avenue sometime probably next week. I'm also really looking forward to doing my Christmas shopping in NYC. There's so much to offer and it's just fun!

Well now that I have that out of my system, I'm looking forward to going back to school this week for a NEW week. I made my advisory cupcakes because we have a few birthdays this month. I also made an AWESOME lesson for physics tomorrow. We are going to solve a problem about Batman having to drive the bat mobile fast enough to clear a river where the bridge washed out. (Batman forgot how to do physics.) I'm going to play the really dramatic batman music as they start on the problem, just for the effect. "Batman needs YOU to save the day with physics!" They are going to roll their eyes and it is going to be glorious.

Until next time,


1 comment:

  1. I've always wanted to visit NYC at Christmas time and this makes me want to do it even more!