Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Real Deal

So, after my first 12 days of teaching, there are several adjectives to describe how I am feeling: exhausted, stressed, fulfilled, exhausted. I don't care what anyone says, even the most challenging student teaching experience cannot prepare you for what it is like to be teaching your own class!!!!

Let's see, I have 3 students will Special needs, on of which is quite severe. I have a Teacher's Aid in my room and it wasn't until last Friday that I realized I needed to communicate with him what I wanted him to do with the students on his load because we just got a Special Ed. Teacher a couple of days ago.

Administration expects for all components of curriculum to be fully implemented, but I am still teaching routines and procedures that take up a RIDICULOUS but NECESSARY amount of instructional time each day. This whole procdures/routine thing is new for me because I saw very little of that during student teaching.

I have learned so much in the last couple of weeks and am so completely and totally overwhelmed with the zillion and one things that are constantly running through my head!! One thing I have been struggling with is how much time I spending doing 'school stuff' every day. I'm at school over an 1 hour before I need to and I leave about 3 hours after I'm allowed to, only to go home and do more work until about 9:30 when I get ready for bed.

I feel like as a brand new teacher, it makes sense that I would be spending a little more time at school because I'm playing catch-up (in regards to materials, time management) to other more experienced teachers. Also, over the last couple of weeks, I have had family and friends comment about how much time I'm spending at school and working on school stuff. During this FABULOUS 3 day weekend, I have been doing a great job.....haven't touched any school stuff since I left school at 5:30 yesterday!!! I have spent time with family and really enjoyed myself. I want to find more of a balance but I'm really not sure how.

No matter how much time I spend prepping for work, I know I will never be as prepared as I would like to be. However, the perfectionist in me still continues to strive for the impossible.

Question: How do you set boundaries and limits for the amount of time you devote to school??