If you haven’t heard, teaching is rough. I was talking to my classes about “white collar” vs “blue collar” jobs. When they thought about the salary of a teacher vs the amount of education required and type of work we do, a curious student asked, “So you are a white collar job with a blue collar paycheck. Ms. Dizdar, that makes you… sky blue” I just about died laughing.
Why do we still do it, you may ask. Gosh darnit, we love our kids, community, and believe in what we do.
Additionally, I have seen, and have been, one of the many teachers up at school around 6:45 am or earlier who leave between 5:45 and 6:30 pm on any given day. Oh yes people, we can put in as many as 12-14 hours per day!!!! My first few years teaching, I didn’t mind it. Being single, fresh out of college, no bills (yet), I didn’t mind working long hours. I felt like I was giving back, making a difference, CHANGING THE WORLD!!!! And though it might have been true (or a slight stretch ), the glory soon wore off. I was left tired, burnt out, and just plain exhausted. I wish I could tell you that I made an instantaneous change in my life style, buuuuttttt no. I stayed in this mess for about 4 years., mmm hmm 4 long years. Then I just decided there had to be a change in my life, so I set boundaries.
Let me say it a little slower for you wonderful perfectionist, exuberant overachiever, astounding workaholic types, which I completely identify with… B-O-U-N-D-A-R-I-E-S.
Let that beautiful word sink in.
If you had an adverse reaction to it, you are normal. I read a book about these so called boundaries, and immediately through it across the room in anger. “But my kids need me” “I can’t do less work” “There’s too much to be done” “How can I possibly work less and still be prepared?”
No, there are not fairy godmothers, magicians, or any other brilliant sort of sorcery. It’s just making little changes in our decisions. My 6 month thought process ended in this new schedule like kind of thing. I don’t want to just say schedule for all my perfectionist kin out there. It’s more of a “hold on loosely” plan.
Sooo here it is…
Monday – Me day!!!
I can do what ever I want. Pedicure? Sure! Run? Sure! Movies with friends, on a school night? Sure! It’s your day. Do whatever you want. Read a good book, window shop, get ice cream and take the longest bubble bath ever!!!! Take care of you.
Tuesday – Thought day
Remember that one news article you didn’t finish reading, that graduate program you have always thought about applying to, that self help book you know would improve your mind set, or that amazing book of poems you have been dying to read. Tuesday is your day. Think about what ever you want.
Wednesday – Work Day
We are still teachers… There is still a stack of papers to grade. Get your booty to it! Wednesday is for work.
Thursday – Oh hey friends
Go out with your favorite person, have a date night, play board games, go see a movie, trivia?!??! Remember when you were a human who liked to have fun. Go get it!
Friday or Saturday
Give back. Go see a sporting even at your school, plant some trees in your neighborhood park, work on a community garden. Now that you have become human again you can give back.
Pray, meditate, church, brunch, sleep. Its your day to rest, relax, and rejuvenate.
I hope this little, ehem, schedule can help you find balance in your life. You are an amazing individual, worthy of love, care and time, even from yourself.