By Pam Bergman
I often find myself updating IEP goals on a Saturday morning.
I often find myself brainstorming ways to help a child learn a new skill
while watching TV.
I often find myself creating new activities on Sunday.
I often find myself searching the Internet for new ideas on my weekends.
The following four items are the school items I felt I needed to change in order to balance my life a bit more. I've made good progress with the first three and am about to start tackling the fourth. I've left myself a bit of wiggle room as I will only add that fourth back into the equation if I can keep it semi balanced very quickly!
- I've decided I will NOT purchase anything else for the classroom. This cuts down on TIME spent at stores as well as MONEY spent on school items. (Yes, I have cheated a few times...but just at the Dollar Store!) Don't feel sorry for the children, I have many plastic boxes stuffed with items and activities...both at home and school!
- I've decided I will NOT come in multiple times on a break to reorganize and get things ready. (ONE time is acceptable; multiple times is NOT! Keep in mind we do not have a "typical" school schedule so our breaks are shorter. Also, keep in mind, this hasn't really been put to the test yet!)
- I've decided to limit my at home work to NO more than two hours on Saturday morning. (Two hours to update IEP goals and write a weekly lesson plan. The lesson plan will then be revised multiple times throughout the week! Really, how long do I want to spend on an "outline" of our week?)
- And, yes, searching for new ideas on the Internet has had to take a back seat. I can't seem to find a plan that does not make this a complete "out of control"..."three hour search" for new ideas! I have plenty of ideas! I'm just going to have to work with what I have until I can figure out a way to make this a part of my week without tipping the whole darn thing out of balance!
I know I'm never going to feel like I have complete balance in life. I know there will be weeks that I will HAVE to spend more time on paperwork. I'm OK with the fact that I may have to "cheat" a few times on my self-imposed balance "rules"! But now I have a PLAN for getting back on track!
Perhaps you need a plan as well? What would you change in order to feel your life was more balanced? How much is TOO much? How much makes you feel like a better teacher, and how much simply makes you feel like your life is out of balance?
Now, wait a year and ask me how it's going! THAT will be the real test!
Would you like to come follow some of our classroom activities and experiences? Come walk down that long, long hallway with us at: www.howlongisthishall.blogspot.com. Of course, when my life is in balance I write a bit more about our classroom fun!