January 15, a Sunday

January 15, 2017

This blog post is part of an ongoing series to capture a Day in the Life of a Teacher, a collective project started by Tina Cardone @crstn85.

Today is a Sunday.  I believe that Sunday should be reserved for public and private worship of the Lord and for rest, so I don’t do any school work or hobbies on Sunday.  I started this practice about 5 years ago, and it has been a great blessing to me in that time.  Having some distance from my school work refreshes me for another week at work.

9:35 am – I wake up because someone is knocking on my front door.  Trying to fix my bed-head and hoping my PJs look ok, I answer the door.  It is our back neighbor saying he wants to replace the fence.  That sounds like great news to me, because it really needs it.  I tell him we are happy to split the costs.

Now that my husband and I are awake, we get up and fix breakfast.  I shower and dress for church.

10:55 – Church is a pleasure today.  We’re studying the book of Genesis right now.  Afterwards, I say hello to some friends and head home.

1:00 – We eat lunch, and then I read a chapter in the book I’m reading called “Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts.”

2:30 – I take a nap.

4:30 – I get up and get ready to go back to church.  I’m assigned to the nursery tonight, but sometimes there are no kids in there and I get to go to church.  That is what happens tonight.  In the evenings, we are studying 1 Peter. The sermon is about humility and submission.  I struggle with pride in myself and my work, so this is a good one for me.  Afterwards I ask the pastor if submitting to the leaders placed over us still allows room for me to call my Congressman and express my opinions on pending legislation.  He assures me that it does.  I also ask him about a work meeting that is required and is on a Sunday.  I have a meeting with the headmaster on Tuesday to ask to be excused.  My pastor assures me that if my headmaster requires me to attend, then it becomes a deed of necessity for me to attend, so it will not be a sin. I chat with friends and find out that one of my good friends is expecting (her fifth!)  God is good.

7:00 – I spent so long chatting that it’s too late to cook meatloaf as planned for dinner.  I heat up some leftover pizza and my husband makes himself an omelet.  We spend some time chatting and feed and walk the dogs.

9:30 – I go to bed so that I can be ready for another day.

Reflection questions:

1) Teachers make a lot of decisions throughout the day.  Sometimes we make so many it feels overwhelming.  When you think about today, what is a decision/teacher move you made that you are proud of?  What is one you are worried wasn’t ideal?

Taking Sundays off was a difficult decision for me at first.  I wonder if students and parents will be frustrated if they email me late Saturday and don’t receive a response until Monday morning.  Being at a religious school has made that concern diminish a bit, but not entirely.

2) Every person’s life is full of highs and lows.  Share with us some of what that is like for a teacher.  What are you looking forward to?  What has been a challenge for you lately?

I find that late January into February is the most difficult time of the year for me.  I become tired and short tempered.  The joy of the holidays is past, but the excitement of summer is still far away.  The long days of planning, teaching, and grading start to become a grind.  However, I remember how much I enjoyed seeing my students the day after Christmas break ended.  I really do love my job.  I just don’t always like it.

3) We are reminded constantly of how relational teaching is.  As teachers we work to build relationships with our coworkers and students.  Describe a relational moment you had with someone recently.

I recently had a student who is normally quite pleasant act very rudely to me in class.  I asked her advisor if something was going on with her, but she didn’t know of anything.  I suppose everyone has a bad day sometimes, but I was surprised how disappointed I was by having it happen with this particular student that I thought liked me.  I guess even a veteran teacher still wants to be liked on some level.  I’m pleased to report that her mood and behavior improved since then.

4) Teachers are always working on improving, and often have specific goals for things to work on throughout a year.  What have you been doing to work toward your goal?  How do you feel you are doing?

I’m on track to go the whole year with lessons that I have gathered from a variety of different sources, none of which are the textbook we use.  I’m trying to make sure that I have students develop concepts that lead them to algorithms, not tell them algorithms first and then explain why they work.  Unfortunately, my textbook starts with the punchline on every lesson. I’ve started looking at a textbook designed with concept development in mind for future adoption.

5) What else happened this month that you would like to share?

I’m pleased to report that my headmaster did excuse me from the Sunday reception that we were asked to attend.  He was very gracious and understood my reason for asking for the exception. I am always uncomfortable asking for special treatment, but everyone needs a little grace sometimes.

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