Face it:: School Affects Everything

Broken SchoolImage by crawford.l via FlickrSo I was at school in early September working with the school's youtube channel and google kept trying to link to my Cool Cat Teacher google account. Inadvertently, I reset my Google account password and then it began.

It knocked down all kinds of things I had linked to my Google account and many things relating to this blog from disqus links to now, I just discovered that Diigo hasn't been posting my Daily spotlight links that I sent throughout the month of September.

“Doggone it!”

Leave it at School?
This brings home a very big point to me.

You know, I talked to you in an earlier post about Letting things fail so people can see you need some things fixed and honestly, I'm not very good at that.

When there is too much to do, I often just do more.

The Wake Up Call

Two weeks a go there was an away football game and my son's team is now 7-0 on the season and ranked #1 in the state in GISA-A football!  But I was completely worn out to the point of being sick. My husband told me to stay home and he was right.

But as I sat there in the chair watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie, I just began to see how something is going to have to change in my life. I was at home sick because there is too much to do and I'm trying to do it all.

The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg
I think that many who leave the classroom to speak realize that they've killed the goose that laid the golden egg just to find out that the goose is now dead and there is no more gold because those experiences and lessons that they learned in the classroom are now no longer feeding their psyche and soul.

I need these students and they need me. I want to figure out some sort of balance here. I think many teachers struggle with this.

Take a Hard Look
The fact is — school affects everything. It affects my life, my mental health, my physical health, my family life, and my attitude – it affects it all.

There are times we have to take a hard look at what we're doing and work with those who can help us and advise us about what to do – we have to make decisions so that we can be all that God created us to be.

Life Lessons from a Loser
I think back to a similar situation back in July. Kip took the kids and I away to a place in the middle of nowhere in Helen Georgia. On the way, he took me by this random bookstore and I found a book Finally Thin, by Kim Bensen. Kim lost more than 200 pounds but wasn't espousing one weight loss program but she shares about all of them.

As I prayed over my own weight, I realized – “I can do this” and I decided to join weight watchers and stick with it and DO IT. That was the second week in July.

Now, I'm sitting here in the Atlanta airport a whole two sizes and 25 pounds smaller than I was in July.  Small steady steps and daily decisions on my eating and workout program have made a big difference in my life and ultimately my health. I feel better, food tastes better. I am happier when I look in the mirror.

But it took daily action and discipline and decisions.

Losing This
So, as I seek to whilttle down my job description to be more manageable, I'll also have decisions to make — what can come off my plate? What can I stop doing? Who can do other things? What changes can I recommend to decision makers who can help me with this?

To continue doing the same thing and expect different results is the definition of insanity.

More is not more — less is more.

Message to You
So, as I've meandered in my words here on this page. I have a message to you.

You can't leave school at school – school does affect your life. Don't pretend that it doesn't.

Here I was pretending that school didn't affect there rest of my life and look — I have about 20 blog posts that didn't go up because of a password/ Google account problem at school!

Sometimes something's gotta give and when you've given all you can – it becomes a matter of giving alternatives and making decisions.

There are such things as win-win situations in this world but they never happen by accident.

Teaching is a noble calling.

To continue to act nobly, we have to be realists with ourselves and realize that sometimes situations need to be addressed.

Think of Students
And realize this…

If we, as teachers, cannot leave school at school – how about our students? They can't leave it at school either and how they are doing with their grades, their friends, even if you scare them – it affects their life at home too…

you just can't leave it at school. It is serious, treat it that way.

 Because, my friends, what happens at school doesn't stay at school. Stop pretending and deal with it.

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5 thoughts on “Face it:: School Affects Everything

  1. Well, this is a timely post! Here is my initial foray into my new position. http://cheryloakes50.blogspot.com/search/label/Wells%20High%20School
    Vicki, last May 2010, I spent the day at a student conference. I absolutely loved the whole day from 5 AM to 8 PM. I came back and told our special services director and said, “I would go back in a classroom in a heartbeat!” She said, she had a position open. I took the weekend, and thought about it, tried saying “I am a resource room teacher”, and it felt right. The next step was to really reflect and ask myself why? Only 5 years ago, I took on the position of Technology Coach in a school district of 1500 students. We made lots of changes, good changes, hard changes and things were happening for students, teachers and our community.It was a great time to be in that position. However, looking forward, I really had a passion for Universal Design for Learning, Assistive Technology and assessing student skills and working directly with students. Did I jump ship? Did I leave the district in a bad position? No to both. I decided that I needed to get back with direct work with students. I also decided that I had taken the district to a good spot and someone else would come in and continue moving us forward. It has been the best decision. I love working with students and being back in the frenetic pace of the classroom. Our district has hired a great technology coach, Michael Richards. The journey continues and I am back in the classroom making a difference for individual students. You will find your spot. Thinking of you as you travel your destiny!

  2. Wonderful observations. We all try to compartmentalize our lives. We’ve been trained to think they are all completely separate. School, work, home, church, friends, family none should merge together or, as George Costanza stated, our “world’s are colliding!”–only, they don’t have to collide painfully.

    In the education context, one of the biggest hurdles of this new education environment is the fact that students have access to teachers and teachers have access to students outside of the classroom through social media. This makes leaving school at school impossible. It can be a great thing but . . .

    Finding balance is difficult for all of us. I know I need better balance. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I found your blog through a school project and just wanted to say thank you for this post. I’m currently working on my MAT in special education and just started my first job teaching developmental writing at the university level. Even though I teach only two classes, it has been a huge adjustment for me, and I’m already realizing that the way things are going at work can really make or break the day for me. It makes me feel less crazy to know that there are other, veterans out there who can attest that school does effect everything.

  4. I totally agree with you on this point. As a teacher, I come home drained on those “tough” days, and feeling elated on the “excellent” days. I think that people who have any job can feel these feelings as well; you give a big presentation to your boss, you land a big account, you get a raise, or on the opposite side – you get reprimanded, you feel unwanted, you feel like your job is monotonous, etc. Your attitude towards life is affected by your job – it is such a big part of your life – you spend all day there!
    My point is that I feel like teachers maybe have a more sensitive attitude monitor, that can be swayed at the end of the day more so than people in other jobs. We deal with kids who always let their feelings be known (especially verbally by teenagers), and so you would have to be inhumane to not have that affect your own feelings. At the end of the day we take in all that happened, and we can not help but let it affect us in some way. Balance is key! I agree with you – less is more – and that is the only way! Always have a way to make your attitude/feelings sway back to where they need to be after one of “those days”, and all will be well!

  5. “Letting Things Fail” is something we boomers have a hard time with. After working for a large state university, a small private college, and now a K-12 district, I should be prepared for all types of attitudes toward work in education.

    BUT

    I have learned that the only way to stay sane and promote change is to 1) be positive 2) help everyone I can with a smile on my face 3) continue to push forward with my own knowledge and expertise and 4) give people the tools to move forward, and enough rope that they’ll succeed or not, depending on their own work ethic. Letting things fail is important or you will end up doing everything yourself.

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