Tomorrow I will be in meetings most of the day; we meet our new principal (the third since our school opened in 2004) and a new assistant principal. We have a week of teacher work days, then the students begin on Monday, August 16th. Summer went by so quickly. I loved having so much free time for reading and for spending time with my family. The constant pain in my right shoulder totally disappeared (I believe that ailment is called "teacher's shoulder" and comes from the heavily laden book bags I lug back and forth). I'm hoping for a smaller student load this year (last year I had 160 students) so that I can give my students' work the time and attention they deserve. I love my teaching schedule (more about that in another post) and I'm really looking forward to meeting and getting to know my new students. And, let's face it, in this economy, I'm so lucky to have a job....
This week I finished reading Driftless by David Rhodes (review to come soon). I'm about halfway through the galley for Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass (review to come soon), and I'm also reading The Best American Short Stories 2009 based on Melissa's recommendation (The Betty and Boo Chronicles). Melissa's blog is one that I count on for excellent content and recommendations, and she raved about Steve De Jarnatt's story "Rubiaux Rising" recently--I will probably read that story today.
In the coming weeks professional reading will probably nudge some of my reading for pleasure out of the way. I will kick things off with a book by Jim Burke, one of my favorite teacher-writers: Effective Instruction is only 120 pages, but it will help me start thinking about what I need to do in the classroom this year to help my students be successful. I will probably also reread Kelly Gallagher's short book Readicide this week.
Chi Running (by Danny Dreyer with Katherine) is a book that has been on my shelf for some time; a dog-eared page shows that I got about a quarter of the way into this book at some point. The book is a guide to "effortless, injury-free running" and I plan to begin reading it again. I know that having a good exercise program is essential to keeping my sanity during the school year. Every job comes with its stresses, and teaching is no exception. My biggest problem is probably the inability to turn off my thinking and disengage from my job when I get home. My job becomes my life to a somewhat frightening extent, and this year I intend to try to create some balance for myself.
Any other teachers out there getting ready for the new school year? How do you create balance while performing your job, regardless of your occupation? I'd be interested to hear!