Oh boy

Midterm grades to compile and enter. Course work for my Master of Educational Technology degree to complete. An interview tomorrow to help develop and pilot a Massachusetts Online Curriculum. It's already been a 12-hour day, and there's still much to do.

This, of course, is in addition to daily lesson plans that need to be created, parent e-mails and phone calls that require timely response, and ongoing student work that must be read and evaluated. And then there's special education forms and field trip forms and writing assessment forms and other forms whose names escape me.

Oh, but surely you must have time in the school day to do these things, right?

I have 55 minutes to make photocopies, clean my boards, write the new day's agenda, write the new day's homework, organize handouts, and use the bathroom before a bell rings and students begin to fill my room.

In education, there are essential things that MUST get done each day. What you don't accomplish in your 55 minutes becomes a responsibility that has to be completed on your own time. While I love the work - it's engaging, rewarding, fulfilling, and stimulating - I sometimes wonder if it's burning me out. Since my graduate classes started, I haven't had time to maintain my New Year's Resolution of jogging consistently. At some point, I'm going to need to give more consideration to my health. And if my wife and I decided to ever have kids, I have no idea where I would find the time to be a father given my current schedule - something would definitely have to give.

If we had kids, our children would need to be at the top of our priority list. As a teacher, you see what happens when children are neglected and their parents aren't there for them, and it's trying and sobering. Life is hard stuff, and children need mindful ambassadors to lead them through its peaks and valleys. If your parents aren't responsible, nurturing, and involved, you're at a distinct disadvantage.

Being an adult is about being able to juggle many things with finesse, dexterity, and care. It's about meeting multiple priorities and finding balance. Right now that balance seems elusive, but I'll eventually muddle through and find equilibrium.

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