Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Neatly tucked away

I remember reading a study that said "one in four teacher quits within the first five years of teaching".. or something along those lines. Basically, teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there. If you make it past year five, you might just have a career on your hands.

So, I've completed year five (yay!) and I still feel excited about teaching and working with kids. No desire to leave my amazing classroom. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the job, teaching kind of gets in the way of other things worth pursuing. It's not a 9-5 job. Yes, The school day ends at 3:30pm but any teacher will tell you that the work NEVER ends. No matter how prepared you are or how much planning you've done, things always pop up and drag you to the bottom of the deep end. And if you do ever feel like you're on top of things; you're always thinking and reflecting on all the additional things you could be doing with your class.

The past few years have been amazing, Alhamdulilah. Things are always fun and interesting when you're in a room with 20+ 7 or 8 year olds. The excitement and energy in the room keeps me excited about teaching and that's something I'm thankful for. However, teaching took over my life. Getting home at 6pm everyday and then having to continue working on prep or marking or report cards was sometimes unbearable.

It has been a struggle to maintain balance in my life and not let teaching take over.

So I decided NO MORE! For now anyways :) I'm officially off for the year!! I'm currently working on a list of things to do with this newfound freedom (Suggestions?). As my collegues return to work this coming week, I will be in bed stretched out listening to the creaks in the walls and my heafty neighbour as he walks above my head. Bed at 9am = Bliss. I will secretly smile when I walk past the "Back to School" displays at the mall or watch some cheesy commercial trying to sell me backpacks and school supplies.

I went into my old class today to get my resources that I had neatly locked away for the summer. I had no idea how much stuff I had! When I was finally finished going through everything (4 hours later).. I packed it into my trunk and shut the door (with difficulty).

I still can't believe how many resources I've collected throughout the years. Mashallah, it's pretty awesome. It feels good to have something to show for all your time and effort. I'm glad that it's now tucked away waiting to be reopened in the future when I decide to come back.

And yes, I will miss teaching. Definately. But I'm excited to be able to do things I couldn't do and just relax for a while. But to all my Art projects, Math games, Science centers activities, Author studies and other fun-filled-ideas I say: "Stay neatly tucked away for a little while, and you shall be re-opened soon (inshallah). And children will be in awe and will be excited and will fall in love with learning once again!"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A long way to go rant

Years ago, while doing my undergrad, I fell in love. Running came into my life slowly. I don't remember exactly how, but I became hopelessly addicted. I became one of those university students who skipped their 8 am classes because damn it, it was way too early. Instead I would go to the gym. It was a dingy and sometimes stinky location with an indoor track, but armed with my ghetto cassette player, I would just run.

Then came graduation. Running continued. I was back at home with much better facilities (i.e. outside in the fresh air). I would still go out at odd times to get my endorphin fix. Sometimes even late at night, when running was so much more amazing. When else would it be cool, quiet and peaceful? I knew it wasn't smart or safe to run at 12 am but I was an addict and I just didn't care.

Then came teacher's college and full-time teaching. I tried to run, tried to exercise, but somehow never got to where I wanted to be. I became tired, stressed, and eventually lost my running spark. Instead I gained lots of fabulous experience on how to write report card comments and meet hideous deadlines (barely).

Then came marriage. Oh marriage, you've been good to me but you've been horrible to my waist-line, thigh-line, and whatever-else-line I refuse to measure.

So last month, I celebrated  my 4 year wedding anniversary. I still love the idea of running. That's what it's become now, an idea or passing thought. I miss it and ache for that endorphin rush I used to have years ago.

I've owned a gym-membership for the past 9 years and sadly came to the realization that I've gained over 7 kgs since I got married.

That's life. You have your ups and downs. And your pizzas and fries and ice-cream and awesome-expensive-chocolatey-gifts from your students that make your teaching life that much more enjoyable. And don't forget the delicious home-made delicacies that make it to my desk every few weeks.

So I hereby pledge to lose that 7 kgs that I've accumulated over the past 4 years. I will no longer comment on it being the "perfect running weather" and go vegitate on my couch.

Oh endorphins, I want you back. For good this time.