Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses

It’s that time again. I’m back on the hamster wheel burning up the

The life of the teacher the week before the first week of school

last few precious days of the summer holidays preparing for classes.

It’s a frantic time when teachers suddenly realize that they aren’t as prepared for school as they thought and when we suddenly acknowledge that the stuff we thought we had meticulously put together still needs work.

As well as preparing for classes, teachers at my institution, St. Lawrence College, are meeting with one another, administrators, and students in these last days. On top of this, part-timers like me—who don’t get paid for pre-semester prep time, yet spend weeks doing it anyway—have to continue earning a living. So there are meetings to continually attend and projects to complete for my private business.

Oh, of course, on top of all this, I’m studying towards my Masters of Adult Education. But we won’t even go there. I haven’t had time to more than think guiltily about that.

It’s a grind, no doubt, and yesterday I felt like I was on verge of slipping under. I attended a business school meeting and had so many plans running through my head that I couldn’t even hold a conversation. I had so many people to connect with, so many phone calls and emails to make that, I forgot even the most basic social niceties withy my bosses and colleagues.

I could work all of the coming long weekend and still not be as ready as I’d like.

So that’s exactly what I’m not going to do—work all weekend.

Because I’ll never be as ready as I want to be. No teacher ever is.

Instead, I’m going to use the long weekend to go camping with my wife Julie and my brother-in-law and his wife.

And today (Friday) I’m going to go mountain biking in the morning and spend the afternoon reading a textbook for my M.Ad.Ed. And then I’m going to get in the car before the holiday traffic has a chance to even think about departing and I’m going to head north with a big grin on my face.

The author holds up his Roscoe 3 with its new, upgraded frame—courtesy of Trek Bikes

I’m going to bring my mountain bike and my brand new frame, which was replaced by Trek Bikes after I broke it last month, and I’m going to blow off some steam. I’m going to sit around the camp fire and share stories. I’m going to roast hotdogs and I’m going to drink beer and lie in my hammock.

And then, not until Monday night, am I going to start thinking about all the work I’ve got to do.

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About teachingteacher

Business communications instructor, journalist, corporate communications writer and media trainer ... and Masters Candidate M.Ad.Ed.
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4 Responses to Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses

  1. Jill says:

    Frank,
    I 100% agree with your way of thinking! I will also be going away this weekend and leaving the books and preparations behind. I have been trying to prepare all week and had planned to read a book this week… unfortunately that didn’t happen. However, priorities shift and time with family and friends is more valuable now more than ever! If anything, look at it in such a way that you will end the weekend feeling relaxed, connected and refreshed. All of this will transfer into your teaching next week. So your students will benefit as well…… this is how I am justifying it to myself 🙂 Have fun!

  2. Adele Webster says:

    Good for you Frank! Have a fabulous weekend. You forgot to mention you have a new addition arriving in less than 6 weeks 😉 You absolutely deserve this weekend!

  3. Thanks, Adele! It’s nice to receive your comment. You guys have a great holiday weekend, too! I can’t pack up fast enough and get outta the city!

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