The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 24 2012

Area for Improvement

Day 34: I had a great day today. I was observed by my MTLD second period, and killed it, highlighted by a moment where I invoked the Kool-Aid guy’s “ohhh yeahhh” and managed to pull the class back within three seconds. Eighth period, arguably the most challenging class in the grade rolled up to my classroom and made a perfect silent line before I had time to say a word. It was that kind of a good day.

That is not the purpose of this story. The purpose of this story is the glaring area for improvement I see. And what I see right now is my clock. It says 12:07 am. Tonight, I will get fewer than six hours of sleep for the third straight night.

Important context is that I went to a friend’s birthday party tonight. I had three glasses of sangria. I was out for two hours. On a Tuesday!

I write this not for pity. I write this because despite all the gains I’ve made during my second year of teaching, I want to know when I finally find the unicorn that is work-life balance. I love my job, and I’m better at my job, but I’m exhausted. There are some clear improvements – you couldn’t have gotten me out of the house last year on a Tuesday night unless you’d promised me some combination of chocolate, beer and money – but I should be able to have one night out without feeling like a zombie.

Not only do I really want to know when I’m going to find balance, I’m also scared about just how long I can do this. My teaching is so driven by my personality. I can’t be silly and fun if I’m running on fumes.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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