Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Energy versus Expectations

Memories of Paris 08. - 2011

What I need to do and what I have the energy to do are two very different things.

We’ve all felt it.  It’s the mental, emotional and physical exhaustion from a day of teaching and being a wife and mother.  We say to ourselves, if only I could just teach. If only I could actually spend my entire planning period working on lessons, making examples and preparing materials.  If only my students actually wanted to be in class, learn about artists, generate new ideas and create art, then my job would be wonderful. If I didn’t have to drag ideas out of students or rack by brain for ways to motivate the unmotivated.  If I didn’t have to spend hours preparing lessons only to have the schedule changed or half the class absent.  If I didn’t have activities to get my children to, dinner to cook, laundry to do, or homework to help with.  If I didn’t have to start my graduate work at 9pm once the kids go to sleep.  If I didn’t have all these things to do then I could do the other thing that I need to do. I need to write about my teaching, learning, and research so that I actually remember and learn from my day’s events. While I have many things running a marathon through my head, I just don’t have the energy to write them down.  I know if I could get in a run or some cardio exercise I’d have more energy, but when do I fit that in?  When do I fit in time to relax, refocus and refuel?  IT seems that every moment of my day is already accounted for. 
                If you’re a teacher you know, and probably live, this scenario.  You have sticky notes everywhere and scribbled thoughts all over your planner.  You make mental notes you hope you won’t forget by the time you get around to writing them down.  You count the minute to the bell so you can pee.  You scarf down lunch, or skip it, so you can prepare for the next class.  You stay after school so students can keep working on a late assignment.  There will be good days, bad days and days you are just trying to make it through without losing your cool with a student or your administration.  There are days when all has gone fabulously and you feel like a million bucks at the end of the work day.  There are days when you wake up and look forward to the adventures of the day simply because you got 8 hours of sleep.   And then there’s that one day when you get a note from a student that says Thank You. One heart felt note acknowledging that you are appreciated by a student who you didn’t think was ever listening reminds you of why you do all the things you do.  That is what makes the job worth it all.

1 comment:

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