Work-Life Balance for Teachers (File Under: Fantasy)

Teaching is among the professions that consume one’s mind and soul. Even when we’re up-to-date on grading (hey, it could happen!), we spend personal time and energy researching, planning, and finding new ways to reach students. Random lightning strikes of inspiration hit us when we least expect them. (Great ideas in the shower, anyone? Yeah, I thought so.) There is always more to do, and with 30 students who will never have another chance to be in fifth grade, it’s hard to know when to say “I’ve done enough for today.”

While I love my job, like, jump-up-and-down-can’t-control-myself love it, sometimes I need to pull myself away. I need to remember that my life outside school is important too. I have a wonderful family who deserve my attention and my cooking skills*. I am helping develop two amazing organizations: Omar’s Dream Foundation and Nerdscouting. Those things matter.

I also need to block out time in my calendar for my own pursuits. This may sound selfish. It feels selfish. But I think it will help me take better control of my time and (I hope) not feel so overwhelmed by everything I have to do.

Here are some intentions for this school year that have nothing at all to do with school or my other commitments:

* Catch up on Doctor Who(Updated 8/22/14 — Done! Just in time for Season 8 to begin!)
* Re-watch Firefly — which, tragically, shouldn’t take long. (Update: done!)
* Read Written in My Own’s Heart’s Blood, the latest book in the compelling Outlander series. (Update: done!)
* Read more Lovecraft(Update: nope.)
* Read some science fiction, a genre I tend to avoid, resulting in potential loss of nerd cred**. I’ll start with Dream Park and The Martian Chronicles(Update: I did read some sci fi this school year: 1984, Allegiant, and The Martian Chronicles.)
* Continue reading for Crash Course Literature(Update: Ummm… still a goal…)
* (This is me resisting the temptation to add professional books to the list.)
* Go into NaNoWriMo with a plan! (Full disclosure: I say that every year.) (Update: Yeah, right.)
* Branch out from the Auto settings on Buffy, my trusty Nikon D3200. (Update: not so much.)
* Actually train for that October 5K that I signed up for. I’ve run before, but I let it lapse. I’ll be using this awesome app(Update: sort of, but I’ve abandoned running in favor of walking for now. We’ll see.)
* Crochet something. I could always use another pair of fingerless gloves, right? (Update: I made a lot of things! Including baby blankets, small bags, and my first amigurumi)
* Keep blogging. Maybe I’ll end up with some material for my next NaNoWriMo novel!

I probably won’t do all of them. I might not even do most of them. But when I start to stay late every day after school because work feels like The Only Thing I Should Do With My Time, this list is a place to start.


*Although — true story — I almost let the rice boil dry while I was writing this, so…
**Kidding. True nerds respect each other’s passions and tastes. But still.


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