Personal, Work Life Balance

Take the Sick Day

As I right this, I know I am a complete hypocrite. I am the worst at taking my sick days. Even when I feel horrible, I still come in to work. Case in point this week.

I was diagnosed with Bronchitis on Monday night. I did stay home from work on Tuesday (doctor’s orders) but the only reason I actually stayed home was because it was a teacher work day. I dragged myself into work on Wednesday and on Thursday and I felt horrible. I am finally starting to feel better but I’m pretty sure I drug this along more then I needed to.

Why am I so afraid of the sick day? Why do I feel so much guilt when I stay home? I have a great class and a good routine. I have assistants and students who could help the sub out. Most importantly I need to take care of myself.

When you feel sick, take the sick day. Sleep in. Drink tea. Eat lunch, take medicine and go back to sleep. Give your body the time it needs to recover. Here’s to hoping I take my own advice next time.

 

Personal

Mid August Update

Wow, summer is already over! I went back on contact today and honestly, I am a mix of emotions. I am super eager to get into my routine and get back to normal. I am one of those weird teachers who does not do well with a lot of time off. On the other hand, I’m nervous because I have changed so much. My classroom looks totally different, but I have the same assistants, therapists and kiddos from last year. Having to teach them all how my classroom runs and help them change the norm while still figuring it out feels daunting, but I can do it!

We have moved rooms, again. This is how my classroom looked when I walked in yesterday. I am sorry to say I have not gotten very far-a lot will be done when my husband comes to help me on Saturday.

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As for my to do list, I did not conquer everything. I was too busy soaking up those last sweet moments of relaxation, so I guess it was well deserved! Here is what is on my end of August to do list for academics:

  • 3 little pigs materials
  • Vowel task cards
  • Graphing worksheets
  • Expanded scientific method worksheets
  • All Rules and Laws materials
  • All government materials

As you can see, the academics took a hit. Luckily, these are my October plans so I have time to get them done!

I have most of my October adapted materials printed, I just need to assemble. That’s also on my to-do list. I did get the kid’s binders set up, it’s a great start 🙂

Part 2 of my to-do list, everything else! That includes

  • Finish student binder set up
  • Create my own grade book
  • Create lesson plans
  • Create schedules
  • First week of school plans
  • IEP snapshots
  • Make teacher binder
  • Set up classroom.

Kids come to school on August 29, 12 days until go time!!

 

Personal, Work Life Balance

Why I Won’t Be Joining in on Gossip This Year

People who know me well will tell you that I take a little bit to warm up. I can be shy and small talk has never been my strong suit. In fact, I even experience a level of social anxiety in some situations. One of my biggest concerns when I got my first job teaching was how on earth I was going to make friends.

Somehow, the friends came quickly. I established friendships with other special education teachers as well as general education teachers. I lead a school with an Autism Awareness Initiative, which also helps me get to know teachers that I wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to talk to.

While being friendly with co-workers is a good thing, the dark side of gossip is sure to follow. It started with a quick comment, then turned into an actual time-sucking conversation. Next thing I knew, most of my conversations were gossipy in nature. Rather than asking my 70-plus colleagues for advice on handling a tricky parent teacher meeting or a strategy to help a struggling student, I joined in on pointless conversations that didn’t do anything but circulate negativity.

Not only did I join in on these conversation at school, I became too connected outside of school. I went to happy hours, holiday parties, and spent the weekends texting. In some of these instances, such as my friendship with the best inclusion teacher I’ve ever seen, these conversations were to solve problems or generate ideas.

Other conversations didn’t do the same. The night I realized that it was all-encompassing was when my husband and I got in a disagreement about something personal. He finally asked me “what did your school friends say?” and I immediately spout out the answer. That’s when it hit me, I had spent more time gossiping about the issue with my co-workers than I had actually working through it with my husband.

School and everything about it had consumed me and that is not a good place to be in. I was so focused on these friendships and joining into the gossip mill, I forgot I was a person outside that school. I’ve spent the summer getting back to what I love. I’m enjoying my newlywed life (We are only 102 days in!), diving into my huge stack of to-read books, trying new recipes, exploring my new interest in craft breweries, and snuggling with my puppy.

I feel good about the choices I’m making, because being a teacher is now just a part of me. It’s still probably the biggest part of me, but it’s not my entire picture. I’m a little nervous to go back to school, because the first time I walk away from a gossip-driven or negative conversation might be uncomfortable, but it is something I need to do. I’m not saying I will never again listen to or say a piece of gossip, but I am saying I’m going to refocus my conversations at work and my priorities outside of work.

Here’s to the new, happier, more well-rounded me!