Monthly Archives: September, 2013

Taking a Breath

This weekend was the final straw. Someone had to come to my apartment to look at an appliance. I didn’t think anyone would come on the weekend so I didn’t even bother pretending to clean up (usually I do a quick clean/move everything to a different area before someone comes over). Nope. Instead, when this person came, I was on my couch eating cotton candy and watching football looking a mess in my “outfit.” When he called me over to the appliance, I just looked around and saw everything. It’s like my apartment exploded. It’s not dirty, but I need to find a place for like 90% of my stuff. That is what I was supposed to do this summer. Instead I did pretty much nothing.

Last school year was not pleasant. I came home every day and didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t know if I was going to look for another job or not, so I told myself if I was maybe going to move, just wait for that. Then, I decided to stay where I was for at least another year. I told myself I’d use the summer to really clean and organize and blah blah. Honestly, this was a terrible summer. I’ve probably said before monthly bills increased by way too much, and then I found I found out another expense would be increasing…and yet I was still making a first year teaching salary. HELLO MORE STRESS. Turns out, I was also on medication that was doing seriously not good stuff to me, but my doctors and I thought it was just side effects of a condition that I have. Luckily, I ended up throwing up all day the first official day back at work, saw amy regular old primary care doctor, and got off that prescription. I already feel so much better.

BUT, I’ve still been letting stuff pile up. Hopefully, this weekend was the turning point. I started going through some things, took out two things of trash, put away all of my clothes, and dusted some. The sad news is, I can’t really see much of a difference. And, I was planning all of the things I was going to accomplish this upcoming weekend, but then I remembered I’d be out of town for all of it. So, I’m hoping to make myself commit to 15 minutes of apartment work each day from Monday-Thursday this week. Hopefully putting it in writing like this will make hold me accountable.

 

These Writing Stacks

I’m sitting here with two stacks of papers. Again. Mid quarter reports need to go home this week, and I just can’t bring myself to get through these two stacks (couldn’t do it Friday, Saturday, Sunday…). Math- done. Science- whoops, I need to do those, too! But they are fill-in-the-blank so they shouldn’t take too long. But the writing papers just keeps staring right back at me.

Part of it is because I didn’t teach like I know I should have and how I want to. Communication hasn’t been the greatest, and half the people on my team don’t know what we’re supposed to be covering. Somehow, we never make it to writing during planning, and word never spreads to everyone on the team. I’ve been working on cursive, fluency, and community with my class. So, I realized I needed a writing grade down for reports, because we HAVE to have a certain amount of grades for each subject. Nevermind the fact we’ve been in school about four weeks and have been working on routines, procedures, getting to know each other, working on actually teaching the content before testing the kids…

Another part of me knows I’m nowhere where I want to be in terms of giving feedback. I still feel like a fraud with that. My writing needs so much work, so who am I to critique others?

I’m working through these things. Some of us are shifting our grading to a more standards-based system and I’m going to meet with another teacher to really flush out what standards we want to hit next quarter. Just gotta make it through the second half of this quarter!

And these stacks of papers that still need to be graded. Eh.

Update

So Tuesdays haven’t been good for posting these past few weeks! So far, I’ve been doing pretty well with my goals. I fell off the cooking one, but already today I’ve baked bread and hopefully this evening I’ll cook the dinner I bought all the ingredients for. I went grocery shopping yesterday and most of the stuff I bought needed to be put in the fridge. Then, my electricity went out for several hours. So, I hope everything is still good. 🙂

I did do a draft for an actual slice-of-life piece, so hopefully I can post that Tuesday. Of course, I need to stay after school every Tuesday this semester (and probably next semester, too), so maybe I need to just start posting these on Monday and then link up on Tuesday.

Happy Sunday!

Setting Goals

**I do want to eventually get into the habit of writing actual Slice of Life pieces, but I feel that at this point in my life, I need to do these more reflective, journal-like pieces.**

Students came back to school last week. I am spending some time this year starting with several inventories and helping students set goals. I have participated in some of these surveys, and it seems like I’m a very procedural, step-by-step person. Of course there are some exceptions to this, but I reflected on my results from various surveys, as well as times in my life where I felt accomplished and happy, and times where I felt overwhelmed and stressed. Seems as though I am a creature of habit and I need structure and routine in my life big time. I kind of stepped away from this because I started getting very stressed out and decided I didn’t care, but I also got a little scared because if there was a disruption to my routine, I couldn’t just “go with the flow.”

With that said, I want to set some goals for myself that will help me pick up some of my old good habits, but I hopefully won’t feel too rigid in. I am going to set myself a limit of no more than three goals at any time. Usually, I start writing things down and the list gets so long I get overwhelmed and quit before I even get started. No more!

What I’m thinking my goals should be for right now:

  • Finding the positive. It is very easy for me to find the negative in things, especially myself. I have been getting better and making myself find something positive in my day and putting more positive vibes out into the world. I want to make sure the last thoughts I have before I fall asleep are positive ones!

  • Writing in my teaching journal at least once a week. I am thinking about making this one of my goals for a thing I have to do at work, and like I said before I don’t want to focus on too many goals at once. Last year, I found that when I did make the time to write about what was going on it helped a lot. Some weeks I wrote every day and then there would be a month gap. I really want to make sure I’m reflecting more consistently and writing down those thoughts.

  • Take more steps to be healthier. This one is always tricky for me. I want to run again! I want to cross train more! I want all of my meals to be healthy! I try to do too much at once and I usually crash and burn. I’m thinking that maybe I can sit down each Sunday and actually look at my week. Perhaps I can make a workout plan for that week and then think about one healthy meal I can make that week. I am in an eating rut and I’ve been eating out far too much. Once I can accomplish this I will look to slowly add on.

So there we go. It’s hard for me to stop there, as there are so many other things I wish I was doing, or so many things I’d like to change. But I know I can’t change everything at once and once one of these things becomes a habit, I can switch it out for something new.