September 19, 2009

Leaving Work At Work

This year, I have not brought work home a single time, and I never intend to. This new philosophy is working very well. I work hard when I'm working, and I relax when I'm not. I took the advice of several readers and decided to move some distance away from my district. The decision was a great one.

There is more separation between home life and work life now. I'm not constantly thinking about school. I'm not worrying about when I'll get around to grading those papers, because they're at school and I've already graded them.

This is only possible because of all the legwork I put in last year and over the summer. This year, I'm committed to avoiding the death march. I've taught all of these classes before, so preparing for class is SIGNIFICANTLY less work. That first year is brutal, but now it's relatively smooth sailing. People in my life have commented that I seem much less stressed this year than in past years.

When I was a student teacher, mentors often told me that it takes three years to really get into a groove and find your style. This is my third year, and teaching does seem much more natural now. I know the kind of teacher I am, and I'm comfortable with it.

In case you're curious, my classes are going very well so far. I look forward to going to work in the morning. Mondays excite me!

It's still not a 40-hour-a-week job; I'd say it's 50, minimum. But it's what I do. It's part of who I am, and I really like this career. It's just no longer ALL of who I am, and that's a good thing.

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