Balancing Act…A Note to Myself

It is hard to believe that the first semester is over and spring is little more than a month away.  After a little reflection, I am finding it is an important time for me to find more balance in my day.  Some traps I have identified to avoid:  always finding something to complain about, not giving positive feedback, not finding time to get out into the classrooms, thinking work is the most important thing I do, spending too much time online; not making time for family; skipping daily exercise… and the list could go on.  If you have read my blog, (hi Mom!) you have probably come to the conclusion that I am hopelessly looking for the magic pill that will make all teaching relevant and all students actively engaged.  I need to find balance here too.  Not everything I do is related to trying to reform education and finding the answer to “how do we make it better?”  I have to make time to tell our story here at school and make sure everyone understands the incredible effort that is put forth here everyday by both students and teachers.  We have an incredibly compassionate staff that cares for our students and works to make a difference for all different types of students and that fact needs to be accentuated!  I need to make sure that I realize that not everyone believes that Twitter and blogging are the best way to connect and share ideas(yet).  I have to be careful to leverage my online presence to find resources and ideas for staff and students and to demonstrate that life long learning is my main pursuit.

6 thoughts on “Balancing Act…A Note to Myself

  1. Dave – I have also struggled for balance in these areas. While it is such an amazing experience to be connected to so many amazing people on line, I have to remind myself that my primary focus is to connect with the amazing people within the walls of my school.

    In regards to connecting and sharing, I find that many are still uncomfortable doing this in their individual schools. So is it realistic for us to think that they will just jump in and start sharing with people in other towns, states, and countries? My hope is that by showing people in my school how easy and beneficial sharing can be amongst our school staff through technological tools that they will step outside and build their own networks the way we have.

    In regards to exercise, if there is a way you can do it first thing in the morning, I recommend it. It is a great way to start the day and I found that too many things would happen during the day that would interfere with my plans to exercise after school.

    We are on the right track!

    • Patrick, Thanks for the comment! Interesting that you say some teachers are uncomfortable sharing with their colleagues within the building so it is hard to expect them to share outside that circle. I have several teachers who are very “shy” in front of their “live” co-workers, but have become comfortable sharing outside the building. Somehow it is more annonymous for them.

      I wish I could get up and run in the morning. My body just will not get up to speed early in the morning. With my children and their activitities, I have found running in the evening works best for me.

  2. Finding balance is a great description. Over the last two years (and just two days ago) I commented on how I feel I am spread too thin. Administrator jobs are busy, but I find I am busier than ever and sometimes I am forgetting about obvious things that I should be doing more of. I have a little more admin. time this semester so maybe that will help?

    How do you organize your day? Might be good to share ideas.

    • Dave, This post was a self proclamation that I need to do a better job organizing my time. I am afraid my organization skills would be a study in what not to do. I do know, and I am not doing a very good job this weekend, that I need to limit my time using the Internet. I am making more time to exercise with my children. They have been coming to the gym with me. I have started downloading podcasts and audio books to listen to while running and driving to athletic events. I have made my observation and evaluation practice “almost” paperless and that seems to have saved me some time. What things have you adopted?

  3. Balance is probably a challenge for all passionate people whether they’re in education, the arts, government. . . It would be interesting to read articles about that.

    I’m thinking aloud, but patterns and routines are probably the best way to fit it all in. Also matching what you really love to do with what you don’t gravitate towards as much. For example – I’ve got to get to the gym, but I want to read the book I’ve started so I guess I can read while I use the bike or eliptical (a two-for).

    Also delegating. For example, I’m an experienced teacher who wants to support my system and building principal in any way I can to make our school tremendous. I’m eager to take on projects – some of your staff may feel the same way. Also, my principal has begun recognizing extraordinary efforts at the start of every faculty meeting by giving each person a flower, then he opens it up for others to recognize colleague’s extraordinary efforts – this has opened the door for more voices and more delegation of jobs/efforts. It’s been very positive.

    Thanks for posting and helping me to think about balance in different ways.

    • Great thoughts Maureen! I have some great staff who do exactly what you do. They make help make our building great! Thanks for the comment!

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