Is this real life? What do we give up, as educators?

Zero to Hero Day 3 Challenge: Write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.

Is This Real Life?

That is probably one of my all-time favorite, go-to YouTube videos when I’m having a crummy day.

But in my first week back from school, after winter break, I find myself asking, “Is this real life?”

This winter break, I vowed to spend more time in my “real life,” with my husband, friends, and family. And it was great!  All week, however, I had the nagging feeling that I needed to grade, that I should be planning, and that I wasn’t writing my entries for the National Boards process in which I’m currently engaged. It’s like I couldn’t turn “school life” off and just enjoy myself.

I did have fun. I did relax. And tomorrow is my first anniversary with my husband. We’re going to the same B&B we stayed at on the night we married. Tomorrow night, on the eve of returning to school, I vow to just shut “school life” off.  But in order to do that, I worked for the past two days to plan the first few weeks back to school and tomorrow morning I’ll get up early to grade a little in order to alleviate the guilt.

And as I’m writing this, I just got a text from a very hardworking teacher friend of mine: “I’m in major freak out mode!” She was freaked out that hasn’t planned for the semester, other than what we managed to get done together one afternoon during break, before letting ourselves get distracted with Christmas shopping.

So is this real life?  Do we have to choose one or the other? A real life or a school life?

When I debated leaving education, what kept me were the things that I’ve already committed myself to.  The things I want to see through.  This semester I received a grant to start a writing center in our bilingual office for peer tutoring in Spanish and English writing across the curriculum.  I’m continually revising my curriculum, I’m on the PD committee at school and can participate in the conversation to help support teachers as we move to the CCSS, and most importantly I love my students. I made a commitment to them on the first day of school.

And the kids in my classroom are amazing and it is a privilege to work with them each day.

But what is our commitment to ourselves?

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