Friday, September 21, 2007

It's a good thing it's Friday (and getting a little help from your friends)

I love weekends, and not because I take them "off". Teachers very rarely get their weekends free. I do refrain from email and spending lots of time on the web, because that's just too time-consuming.

For me, weekends are about regrouping, relaxing, rethinking, and revisioning. I know it sounds silly, but I've learned that taking time on the weekend and literally planning it into those 48 hours can make the rest of the week a more pleasant experience.

On regrouping: It's literally about mental, physical, and emotional health. Teaching well takes a lot of mental energy. Planning, teaching, grading, and making sure you make it clear for students can be a real challenge, especially when the content is second nature to you (and not your students). It's physically tiring because I move around a lot, have a lot of meetings, run between office and classroom, home and work. And teaching is emotionally tiring because I am still learning (after 14 years) how much of myself to give to my students. I never feel like I give enough. With almost 100 students this semester, there is less of me to go around to each student.

On relaxing: I have to do it. Sometimes it's gardening. Sometimes it involves movies, sometimes time with friends and family, a run with the dogs (planned for as soon as I finish this post), sleeping, music, reading... Relaxing is good for body and spirit.

On rethinking and revisioning: Ok, so this is actually more like work, but it's a different type of work. It is primarily intellectual. I think about what I taught, how it went, my writing... And sometimes, I even get some writing done, which is a good thing because it's expected.

As for getting a little help from your friends: today Marley decided I couldn't complete this post without his help. Therefore he is the co-author of this post. Of course it took me twice as long to get this done with his help, but it's all good.

Sigh. It's a good thing it's Friday.


41teacher82 said...

I like what you said today and can the dog type ? have a nice weekend your older student. section 7 11:30-2pm Thur. peace RL

Edubabbler said...

He "helps" (in a word, no). Enjoy the weather this weekend. It is supposed to be wonderful.

PuppyPetPeeve said...

Loved this blog. This was one of those rare weekends when I was able to squeeze in all three - regrouping, relaxing, and rethinking. It really makes a difference in my effectiveness at work if I can take some time to rethink on Sundays. I rethink more effectively if I have relaxed and regrouped - it is one big spiral - sometimes upward, sometimes downward!

KinaWahine said...

I love the weekends, maybe too much though because every school year I experience anxiety on Sunday nights. I get moody and anxious in anticipation of the work week and usually experience insomnia. Does this happen to anyone else?

Edubabbler said...

If I don't take the time on the weekend, I am cranky on Monday. I'm also really stressed. So, relaxing has become a key thing in my life.

Marcus Aurelius said...

I think that being an intentional teacher involves that sort of pre-meditated/reflective method in order to keep things fresh.How much time do you think should be spent on planning group or class excercise versus individual attention?