Tuesday, March 01, 2005

TGI-March: On a personal note

TGIM!!! Thank God it's March. February is such a difficult month for teachers and students' I didn't think the February blues would hit Aruba. It is still warm – high of 88 and low of 75 every day. Most days are sunny with a slight to strong breeze. The ocean is a beautiful turquoise blue. That's not a snowflake in sight or a scarf or sweater. Yet, most teachers and students act like it is blistery, depressing winter.

Teachers snap at students and each other. Students are not working hard and irritate each other and the teachers. Work piles up – lesson planning, grading, report writing, curriculum writing, scheduling, and ordering supplies. Everyone looks around and wonders, why am I doing this . . . does it really matter.

This blue funk has been a major discussion point on the MiddleWeb listserv. It seems to be a universal occurrence. So, how do teachers get through it? On the listserv, we've been sharing “Points of Joy” - those little moments that bring a smile to your face. Other teachers are “Standing for...” and telling the story of a student whose life was significantly impacted by their teachers.

I'm trying to leave school at school. This is such a hard thing for me to do. I always feel like I should be doing more. With six completely different classes to plan for, grade etc I'm always feeling behind. Yet if I take it home, then the homework doesn't get done – cooking, cleaning, washing etc. Then I feel guilty for not doing that. And what about fun? Should that be reserved for the weekends? I don't think so. As the old adage says, “All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl.”

I'm using a little more time to work on myself. I've joined WeightWatchers online and have been spending time learning about nutrition and health. This has been very eye-opening. I'm getting up early and trying to do yoga most mornings. With mid-quarter coming up, I have, unfortunately, skipped a few days. It feels good to have a gentle workout in the morning. I've never been into running, the closest gym is 30 minutes away, and definitely NOT open that early. I'm also reading two different books – and not professional ones. The first “A Women's Checklist for Life” is a short devotional book with reminders and checklists of what truly is important in life. The other book is “Peak Learning.” I heard the author speak at a conference and wanted to know more about his ideas. I'm about halfway through the book and have not learned much new about brain theory and research, but it is a good reminder of things I've forgotten.

My goals for the near future is to yoga at least three times a week. I'd like to pick up a few different videos of routines. I would also like to spend more time writing. I had thought that Aruba would be a slower pace of life and I could focus more on writing. However, that hasn't happened often. I need to plan more time for this. Finally, I need to be a little better balanced with the teacher vs civilian parts of me.

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