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Teaching is a demanding profession.  The perception that teachers work only 6 hours a day and have plenty of time off is NOT REALITY.  Teachers pour our hearts, souls, and, sometimes, our whole lives into educating our future.  Teaching can quickly become all-time consuming.  We can find ourselves (over) committed to school committees, coaching, assisting at sporting events, running after-school clubs, chaperoning dances, tutoring, advocating for education reform, reaching out to parents, participating in professional development, and so on.

Beginning teachers, for numerous reasons, want to get involved at school, drenching themselves in the school culture and all that comes with it.  Be careful novice teacher.  There is a balance that we all must find between our personal and professional lives, and this balance is different for each of us.  My advice is to take time for yourself and family, relax a bit, and reflect what your balance is.  Achieving balance among all aspects of your life: family, friends, love, hobbies, etc., is a struggle, but worthwhile.  Having a centered life will sustain you for the long-term, avoiding being burned-out or having troubles at home.  Ultimately, this balance will lead you to be a more effective teacher based on the premise that our personal and professional lives are – at a basic level – interwoven and trouble in one area will eventually affect other parts of our life.

Remember in these hectic days of September and October to keep perspective and acknowledge that it’s okay to put yourself first.


For Christmas my wife bought me a Netflix Roku.  It’ an amazing piece of technology. While I was on my holiday break I put it to good use and what a great stress reliever.  I was able to watch a ton of movies (in high-quality) on-demand.

Here’s how it basically works.  First you sign-up for the Neflix service and buy the Roku device (roughly $100).  You get the movie DVDs in the mail, but now with Roku you can watch UNLIMITED “Instant Watch” movies.  These “instant watch” movies comprise of about a quarter of my movies in queue.  With the Roku, you connect it to your TV and stream the videos directly to your tele.  It’s great quality, and I am even streaming this over our wireless network.  Set-up took less than 5 minutes – super easy.  We also have a HDTV which is great because Netflix is now offering HDTV movies through Roku.  There is no need to get the 3-DVDs in the mail plan for $15.99.  We are going to change plans, dropping down to the 1-DVD in the mail plus unlimited “instant watch” movies, saving around $85 a year.  This almost pays for the Roku itself, plus we get our most of our movies on-demand.

What’s a better way then to beat stress, but watching a great movie when you want?

I came across an interesting post today.  I believe it accurately depicts the pressures we, as educators, face on a daily basis.  The post is an open letter to the next president-elect.

Dear Mr. Soon-to-be-President,

I’m a teacher and I’m tired.

Does that surprise you? Do you find it hard to believe that a guy who works “only 180 days a year” can be wiped out by November? Is it hard to believe that teaching can be exhausting?

It shouldn’t.

On top of the daily challenge of planning, instructing, assessing, remediating, and enriching to meet the individual needs of the 85-plus children that roll through my classroom each day, I wrestle with the constant mental pressure applied by a country caught in the grips of a “crisis mentality.