Teacher and student

With the end of the school year in sight, it's no surprise that I find myself busier than ever. What's different this year than previous years is that not only am I juggling curriculum and assessments for the five classes I teach, I am also busy completing work for two classes I am taking for my master of educational technology degree.

I have about one week to write a major research synthesis essay for one class and create an in-depth WebQuest for another. It is going to be an arduous stretch. I will complete it, though, and thankfully will have a little break before I once again juggle the roles of student and teacher in the fall.

As those of you who are teachers know, teaching is a full-time gig. I'm at school by 6:45 a.m., and often stay past 4:00 p.m. And unlike most professions, my work day doesn't end when I get home. There are always lessons to plan, assignments to correct, and constituents to get back to. This is just the reality of being a teacher. While it's time consuming, it's also wholly engrossing, meaningful, satisfying work. If I didn't enjoy what I do, I wouldn't do it.

Because I give a lot to my job, I have a limited number of hours to give to my wife, myself, friends, and family. With two graduate classes also in the mix, it's safe to say that my cup is near overflow. Fortunately, I've been able to keep sipping away before any drops spill, but it hasn't been easy. Knowing that a respite is near helps motivate me to take the final necessary gulps.

Although my graduate work will soon be over, my responsibilities as a high school English and journalism teacher will continue through the end of June. When we return to school tomorrow, my 9th graders will be turning in poetry anthologies, and my seniors will be submitting major research papers. The journalism kids will assess their latest issue and begin planning their final paper of the year. With the seniors finishing at the end of May, there will be a changing of the guard for the last edition, as underclassmen take on the major editorial roles.

My seniors' last unit is Lord of the Flies, which we'll start tomorrow. The freshmen will end with Speak and Romeo & Juliet. Best wishes to students and teachers everywhere for a swift and fulfilling journey to the finish.

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