A new start, a new balance

classroom-doorThrough this door is my next challenge.

Once I can figure out my end of summer schedule, which is mostly working out how to get the girls where they need to go, I will move in to this empty classroom in my new school. It’s there, waiting for me, calling to me at all hours to leave my reading (I’ve read so many great books this summer!) and the work for my online course (I’m nearly finished!) and the yard work (it’s too hot to work in the yard anyway) and the family history project (that I didn’t actually start yet). But I’ve continued reading, and working through the lessons for that course, and fighting the humidity for 20 minute work bursts in the yard, and tidying up the home office so at least I would have space to work on that family history project. And, I have not gone to my classroom.

I am thrilled to start this new job. I spend time every week sorting through ideas and writing up lesson plans. And I have met with my new team a few times since school let out. I’m nervous, but ready for this challenge. At the same time, I recognize that I need to start out this new position with an eye to balance. I can’t give myself completely over to the job. Teenagers actually want their mother around (they won’t readily admit that, but there are clues) and I want to be around them. I adore my husband and want to say “yes” way more often when he suggests a night out or a weekend walk. I just signed up for a Zentangle class with my sisters because I want to spend time with family and friends.

I love my job and I love my life. A lot of times, the two overlap. I enjoy reading the young reader novels that I’ll suggest to my students. I eat up professional development books and gladly pack one for my cafe reading (if you don’t know the joys of sitting in a cafe for hours reading and writing, try it). When I work in my garden, I’m also thinking of ways to create an observation garden for school. When I go for a power walk to improve my health, I can distract myself from the tedium by mentally planning a writing unit or a get-to-know-you activity. My girls gladly help me dig down to the bottom of the box to find 30 orange notebooks so we all have the same color for Word Study. I can bring my laptop to my porch or patio and write up lesson plans or update my webpage, readily available to chat with the girls or pause and drive them somewhere or mind the chili as it simmers in the crockpot.

It would be a lot easier to go to school and get everything in order now. I could focus for longer stretches on planning if I got away from the house. But, starting at a new school is a great time for me to start on a new schedule. I don’t want to live at school. I miss too much and I’m not willing to miss it.

My new assignment is a wonderful challenge that will stretch my teaching skills and demand a lot of focused time. It would be easy to get wrapped up in it to the exclusion of all else. The challenge I am setting myself is not to.

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