Finding balance as a teacher is tough...and necessary.
My routine is that on Thursday, during my 90 minute planning block, I begin planning lessons for the next week and get a general idea where I'm headed. Then, on Friday, I fine-tune my plan and make any resources or ISN pages that I've planned.
In a perfect world, this plan works great!
In my real world, I've worked both Saturdays since school started.
Don't get me wrong, I don't MIND working Saturdays. Teaching is more of a life-love than a job for me so I settle into my classroom, put on some music and plan/create away. My first working Saturday of the year was an 8 hour shift and I was had a blast.
Yesterday, however, something was different. I left the house around 9. The kids were with dad and perfectly happy. It didn't strike them as odd that I was leaving for work on a Saturday. THAT struck ME as odd. They both know, at 6 and 3 years old, that I love what I do and I work a lot. It's our normal. I'm always so proud of them for being flexible and I want them to know that teachers love what they do and I want them to never be afraid of working hard. Most of the time, I'm happy to set an example for them in these areas. But I also know, and want them to know, that life is about balance.
I still worked 5 hours yesterday, but when I left the school, while I'd planned the rest of the week for my 6 classes, I'd written only 4 of the 6 quizzes I need for Monday, and I just made a post it note of what copies I'd need to make on Monday. I have a couple of lessons that aren't 100% ironed out as far as what foldable i'll use and simple stuff like that.
Now, please understand, I'm a ducks-in-a-row kinda gal. I don't like to spend my weekend knowing that my upcoming week isn't totally prepped and ready to go.
But also understand that while I believe that teaching is what God has gifted me to do and I always want to teach well for His glory, before He made me a teacher, He made me a wife and mom. I never want my kids to think I'm a teacher first. If there was ever a situation where I had to choose between taking care of my classes or taking care of them, I'd never want them to wonder which I'd choose.
I know some weeks will require more time than others, but in the interest of balance, this week, I left my classes at about 90% prepped and came home to be mom. I was rewarded with some relaxing time with the love of my life as we watched our minis play in a massive rainstorm, followed by a mother-daughter run and some much needed cuddle time on the couch. I'll finish up my quizzes and foldable planning tonight after they go to bed and everything will be just fine.
Stress will come. That is inevitable. My prayer is that God will always give me wisdom to keep my priorities straight and that He'll give me the courage I need to walk away from work when He tells me to. I know I made the right choice this weekend and I know that He will equip me to meet the demands of the upcoming week at school. I have unspeakable peace in those two facts.
I hope that wherever you are and whatever you have going on, you will lean on Him as well, and in so doing, find peace and balance.