February Focus

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(I don’t have a good relevant photo for this post, so please enjoy this loosely related photo.  It’s just a little colorful holiday cheer, shared among coworkers.)

I must be honest with you…I had no specific habit to focus on for the month of January.  My focus was on making it through the month, alive and relatively unscathed.  With rare exception, I kept up on my previous habits of making a to do list each evening before leaving work and taking a couple of circles around my classroom to tidy.  But that’s it.  No new habits.  No new surges in productivity.  Sick kids, sick teacher, winter stir-craziness, and a brief and passing compulsion to quit teaching, live in my car, and travel.

But no matter.  It’s a new month.  Onward.

One of the things I have been struggling with in January is the familiar feeling of, “There’s never enough time!!!”  I can’t fix this for myself or any other classroom teacher.  Good teachers, bad teachers, ALL teachers will fight this battle, on a regular basis.  It is the nature of the beast.  We have a hundred balls in the air, and we want to feel like we are juggling, not like the balls are falling down on us and burying us.

For me, the key is to do away with procrastination and focus on that blissful, possibly addictive, feeling that comes with being fully planned and prepared.  Unexpected things will happen, but it’s never a helpful practice to create unexpected things by “just winging it.”  It is my intention to leave the classroom completely prepared for the following day.  It is also my intention not to bring work home with me.  So with those intentions in mind, I asked myself, what is getting in the way?  The truth is, when the kids leave, I want OUT.  I want to RUN far away from my classroom, for as many hours as possible.  It’s a passing feeling, but it doesn’t feel that way in the moment.

For the month of February, I will be focusing on my 3:45 routine.  I need some small comforts at 3:45 that will make me settle in for a couple more hours of working.  I need a snack, some fresh ice water, and some music.  Just small things that signal to my wild, escapist emotions that I don’t need to run away just yet.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: March Focus … Time to Change the Game | Dawn's Place

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