Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sometimes when you fall down, it's better to just stay there

No, this is not about "stupid human tricks." It's about the fact that I realized (well, finally let go of my denial) that I am doing way too much. The end result? I am doing nothing as well as I should. Three classes, two doctoral dissertations, one doctoral, portfolio, 5 masters thesis projects, one independent study, my own research and writing, 4 committees, Graduate Council... and that's just my professional life. I like being busy, and I tend to be more efficient when I have a lot on my plate. But, come on! This is ridiculous.

The reality is that in every workplace, there are people who get away with doing the minimum, those who kill themselves, and there are the smart workers. They are the ones who know how to pick and choose their responsibilities, and really shine because they can focus on what they need to. Clearly, I am not a smart worker right now. But I gotta get there. And soon.


PuppyPetPeeve said...

We were just having a conversation today about levels of effort, always doing your best, getting 'punished for doing so' and enabling. I am defintiely always somewhere on the edge between a full plate and a dropped plate. I like to do a lot and to a fault sometimes have trouble delegating. The hypocrit in me was advising a coworker that she was doing too much and that she needs to step back and let the pieces fall a little so the other people around her could learn to pick them up; we talk all the time about letting the children do more for themselves all the time but don't always apply the same logic to the adults around us. This conversation in turn led to a discussion of ethics - if I do it all I am giving the children my best but not allowing the staff to learn (and ultimately function well for many students to come); if I don't do it all, the staff will learn but the children will not have received the best I have to offer. All I can say for sure is I sleep better when I do it myself.

Create Yourself said...

Wow! I hear you on that! Between teaching two classes one of which that is new to me, coaching, having not one but two student teachers, being an advisor for a class, an advisor for a club, taking a grad course and then putting in professional development hours by attending school's inservice as well as coaching requirements has just started to be draining. I have found myself contemplating the same thought...Is all this too much!?

I love keeping myself busy as well and I like to do things to the best of my ability. I have always been busy my entire life so to me I feel like I have to be busy otherwise I wouldn't know what to do with my time. I feel like being busy makes me feel more accomplished and that my time is being spent wisely and that somehow in my many activities that somewhere I can make a difference. Although I always feel like it is an uphill battle regardless of how hard you try.

Sometimes it is so frustrating and annoying because there are people in schools who a) don't teach and have their students watch movies for the entire period b) don't try to do anything within the school c) people in the school knowing your a good worker and ask you to put more on your plate then what you already have. I think it is great to work with students outside the classroom as well as inside. You get to known them as a person better and sometimes you can really make a difference with some of them by just doing things after school that they would enjoy like a club.

I rack my brains out on trying to do everything well and what I am suppose to be doing in class, for class, outside of class but its difficult. At one point or another everything catches up to you and the stress just piles higher. Sometimes you just need to sit back take a deep breathe, or a drag and say....I CAN KEEP DOING THIS! I CAN DO THIS!

MAPTeacher said...

RG; Ever consider that some of us are just programmed to work until we drop? Few good hours of sleep and you'll be back to your old self! Plus, if you cut back, you'd think you weren't doing enough; you'd be less creative, less energized! Go for the ring :)