I feel like I never get a chance to sit down this year. Even though it’s my fourth year and at this point I’m teaching 3/4 classes I’ve taught before, and I’m comfortable with the content. I’m still staying late at school getting things ready.
I realized today that it’s because I’m pushing myself. I’m not letting myself be comfortable with what I’ve done before. Doing #teach180 is giving me so many ideas and making me find that one photo worthy thing out of my four different classes every day. No photo worthy thing on the schedule for tomorrow? Better create one!
I’m trying interactive notebooks for the first time this year in Algebra 2. The students really love them so far, and I think they make my teaching better because they force me to really distill the content down into a main idea, but they’re a TON of work. Or maybe just a different sort of work than I’m used to.
I’m trying to do more games and activities rather than just alternating notes-assignment-notes-assignment and throwing quizzes in when they hit.
Most of this is good – but as I was almost having a mental breakdown after school today when I thought for about a minute that I deleted the whole SMART presentation I’d made for tomorrow’s Algebra 2 lesson and was simultaneously handing Heather the stack of cards from the literal equations scavenger hunt I used last week in class, Ryan walked in our office and asked how my day was. I made some sort of squealing groan noise at him, his eyes got wide, and Heather said, “Liz is doing too much this year.”
(literal equations scavenger hunt was awesome)
Which I think she’s right. I’m trying to become a better teacher, but I need to find the balance between staying where I was and biting off more than I can chew. Stressing myself out isn’t going to help my students in the end (or me).
So, I’m going to keep trying new activities. Keep having discussions with colleagues and friends who are teachers. Keep doing #teach180 (obviously, I committed). But I’m gonna let myself post a picture of a plain old book assignment sometimes. I’m gonna leave some lessons the same as they were last year. I’m gonna let myself leave school with not everything done some days. Because I need to push myself, but I need to take care of myself, too.
And I’m sure some of you probably need that reminder, too. So take a break. You’re important too.