Saturday, February 27, 2021

#58 Homework! [or: How I didn't leave teaching]

 Specifically, getting my Hebrew homework done on Saturday night for a Tuesday afternoon class!

I love being in school! Master's degree, bachelor's, professional development or Hebrew class--all so fun! What I'm super grateful for today is really not about the homework but instead about the time management skill that I have somehow acquired in the last few years. Five years ago I would be staying up late the night before the class or just not do it at all. Forget that--two years ago when I took Arabic I didn't do my homework. (Perhaps I am super motivated now because I am beginning understand words around town!)

But really the last few years of teaching has taught me how to manage my time. About 2 years ago I almost quit teaching because I just could not figure out how do it all. I was overwhelmed by prepping 3 classes, students didn't turn things in on time, I couldn't stay on track with the curriculum, my "long-term" plans were at best for the next day. It was not good. 

Then two things happened: I completely hit bottom, realizing if I don't change I am going to have to figure out what else to do AND move back to the U.S. and shortly thereafter I was assigned a co-teacher named Ann at my job. My desperation to make teaching work forced me to change the way I conducted myself at work. I no longer bought in to the excuses of the students. I stopped doing the work for the students (teachers will know what I mean); I stopped caring more about their grades than they did; I stopped waiting on them to do their part before I moved on to new topics. My co-teacher Ann was such a gift because she helped me stay accountable to myself. I bounced ideas off of her. Together we tried new things in class to help the students interact with the material in new ways.

It paid off! My stress level went down. After just a few months I decided I could see myself teaching in the long-term future. Over the next few years I have learned how to use my time more efficiently and to think ahead a few days.

Hence the homework due Tuesday is done on Saturday. I know some people figured this business out long ago, but I'm just grateful I figured it out in time to save my career!

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