Turn it Off

I’ve got a problem. Addiction. Compulsion. Obsession. I work too much. I plan too much. I tweak too much. I never stop. I keep going. That stuff about working smarter not harder–it’s never applied to me. I mean, the fruit of my labor is engagement and a continual love for what I do each day. However, lately the signs keep telling me that I need to turn off school more.

Top 10 Signs of Late that I Need to Turn Work Off

10. I’ve had strep twice this school year, overworked and under-slept.

9. I text like a teenager with my pedagogical partner of planning and collaboration–texts 7 days a week–100s of texts as we pontificate how to create the perfect lesson.

8. My principal (the one who has continually pushed me to better myself, the one whose mountain I’ll never reach the summit of) told me to quit redoing everything that I had great stuff last year.

7. That same principal is telling me stories of how he makes himself stop working for at least two hours a day (adding the guilt I won’t feel because I’ll be spending time with family).

6, That same principal looked at my plans from last year and told me a second time, “Why are you redoing all this? Why do you keep changing everything. Your stuff is good.” When I commented on this being the second time he said this in the last few days, he told me that he was trying to make a point.

5. Another instructional leader looking at my plans said, “You’re working too hard.”

4. A teacher friend gave me a book entitled When Work and Family Collide.

3. For the third year in a row, another department head at my school looked at me recently and asked, “How’s your plate?”

2. I grade papers and plan and do school stuff while neglecting my family. Right now while I blog my husband makes the lunches for the kids for tomorrow. He’s running circles around me.

1. My OLW prioritize has no meaning if I don’t seek to better live the meaning.

And so, what do I do with this? I suppose I have to learn to say no to school and yes to life. I suppose I need to begin to try to figure it out. I suppose I have to ask people in my life to hold me accountable. Most of all, though, I have to quit making excuses and start finding solutions. 2 hours a day without school. I suppose when my husband reads this he’ll think, “You can’t count the 2-5 hours of sleep!”

Fellow teacher bloggers, I see the good you do in the classroom. I read your blogs. Tell me what you do to force yourself to turn it off–what do you each day to turn school off, and turn life on?

One thought on “Turn it Off

  1. this is something I continually have to work at, too. So far, my solution is to force myself to unplug for a while every day and do something meaningful for ME or MY FAMILY that isn’t school related. It is a habit that we create—at least, that is what I’m working toward! Good luck–and I’ll be checking the comments for awesome ideas!


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