Saturday, September 6, 2014

Finding the Balance: Being an Educator and a Parent

Here I sit on a Saturday night typing up college recommendations and planning for the week. You see I am a high school teacher. I love my job. Really I do. When people ask me my profession and I answer back, " I teach H.S. English," they look back in horror, cringe and usually slink away. What they don't know is that I chose this profession after trying other things.

Whilst sitting in my dining room typing away I am surrounded by toys. You see, I am also a mother of two. Two small children. Small as in a two year old and a five year old. Yes, I am insane and yes they are both boys. My house is always messy. There are always unidentifiable crumbs. ( Perhaps from a week ago) You may step on a Lego and use profanity. Someone is always jumping on something or hitting someone else with something. Dinosaurs and playdough have replaced my favorite Crate & Barrel bowls on the now present coffee table. ( We had to get rid of it for a while with walkers. Not zombies. Actual live babies walking.)

As I embark on another year of teaching I have yet to find balance. I am exhausted. Most of my colleagues are. The first month is always brutal for everyone. We are so happy to be at school but our bodies have not quite gotten accustomed to the usual academic rigor with having a month or two off. Our students feel the same pain. Luckily though we humans are adaptable and we usually perk up a week or two into October.

Being a parent AND a teacher is exhausting. If I listed my before 7AM schedule to you, dear reader, you might faint. I am responsible for way too many things before the normal waking hours. I am shocked that I haven't forgotten something vital to life at home. ( Only ONCE did I leave a lunch at home! Go me. )
 I love my children, but my favorite moment is after I have dropped my youngest off at preschool ( in a different city than where his brother goes to school or where I work ) and I drive to work music blaring trying to drown my busy thoughts. There is ridiculous amounts of traffic the two exits but those two exits are mine to savor.
When I get to school children come out of the wood work to ask me pressing questions. There is extra help, homework, lesson plans, highlighting, paper clipping and of course parent emails. Organizing, common core, frameworks from our state, time management, video clips, novels, poems etc. Then there is nurturing the connections with our students. Most are reaching out for someone to listen, show them that we really do care about their well being, and of course providing advice.  Sometimes our smile is the only one they will get all day. As I said it is exhausting but  wrapped up in a big crazy ball of awesomeness.

I will let you know what I find in terms of finding a balance. I have started doing yoga again once a week. It's sort of helping but this week I just didn't have the head space to go. The year is young and there is much to learn. On a Friday, after the first full week of school,  I asked some of my Facebook friends ( some of whom are teachers) to complete a sentence. I leave you with their responses.

 Being a mom and a teacher is ______________. 

Very Hard 

The same thing? 


So, SO hard to balance. Y'all who pull it off are amazing!!

Impossibly hard but totally rewarding!!

Who I am. 

Tiring but awesome 

Saying "you need to make a different choice" 756 times a day


very hard

Two full-time jobs 

Exhausting and empowering 


The two most important jobs in the world XoXo 

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I keep trying to remind myself that it's early, that things will get better, that even October is so much more hopeful than September can feel. I still haven't figured out balance but I'm striving. I'm wishing strength to you so hard.