Seeking Balance: Teaching, Writing, Life

Inspired by two other bloggers this week, I want to share two days in the life of me, a fifth grade teacher, writer, human being. I know some teachers work far more hours than I do, but this does not mean the 9-10 hours I spend each day are not intensely full, (or that some days/weekends do not include more work). However, I have found that cutting myself off is important to maintaining the energy necessary to teach each day. Likewise, I think we need to move away from a culture where everything is a contest of who worked the most. Life is about balance. Here is my attempt:

Writing Tuesdays:

6:00 AM Wake-up

6:50 AM Leave for work

7:00 AM Arrive in my classroom, set-up for the day, get through as much on my to-do list as possible

7:55 AM Report to duty outside as the students arrive

8:15 AM Students in the classroom, day begins, all my energy goes to teaching lessons, answering questions, meeting small groups.

3:15 PM Students leave, Tuesday I have no prep and I usually spend my lunches multi-tasking by making copies, working out problems with students, and building relationships, so 3:15 is my first “break.” However, I don’t really take a break because my goal is to get home. I use this time to prep for the next day, make parent phone calls, etc.

4:00 PM My teaching coach arrives, we figure out what still needs to be done to clear my credential and talk through any challenges I’m having in the classroom.

5:00 PM Arrive home, walk the dog, clean-up a bit, eat a snack, relax.

5:30 PM Start writing. Tuesdays Alex and I do our own thing, this is my time to focus.

8:00 PM Make dinner/eat (We eat late…), get prepared for the next day, read, unwind.

10:00 PM Sleep

Unwired Wednesdays:

6AM-12:45 PM Same as Tuesday

12:45 PM Students go home, Wednesdays are our prep and professional development days

1:00 PM Meet my team to plan instructional overview for the following two weeks

2:00 PM Professional development with school staff on anything from data analysis to teaching reading more effectively in small groups

3:00 PM Personal planning time to get ready for Thursday/following week

4:00 PM I leave a little earlier than the rest of the week. This gives me something to anticipate, (even if I have to leave items on my to-do list). I get home, check my personal email, clean-up a bit, then head off to hot yoga.

5:45 PM Hot yoga

7:00 PM Get home, shower, prepare for Thursday, make dinner

8:00 PM Eat dinner, hang out with Alex, watch TV (Daily Show, Downton Abbey, New Girl)… We aren’t big TV watchers, but I do find it relaxing on Wednesday nights.

10:00 PM Sleep!

Unwired Wednesdays means no computer usage after 5PM. I find this break amazingly rejuvenating, especially midweek. Wasting time on the computer was a drain on my happiness, even though blogging and writing were beneficial to my overall well-being. Accordingly, I had to consciously create balance in the middle of each week.

I hope you’ll consider using this as inspiration for a post yourself. I won’t lie, I really like peeking into the lives of others as it gives me ideas on how I can better use my own time. And, if nothing else, it is a great opportunity to look at your life and evaluate how your time is spent– how do you seek balance between health, work, family/friends and your other interests?

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10 thoughts on “Seeking Balance: Teaching, Writing, Life

  1. Z says:

    If anything I am doing voluntarily is becoming a drain on my happiness, I try to take some time to reconsider it and how I can get on without it. It’s pretty amazing when you make a conscious decision to do something you never thought you had time for before or cut out something that was “indispensable” and realize that human beings are pretty damn good at adapting.

  2. allaccesspass says:

    Love this sneak peek into the life of you and I’m going to *think* about “Unwired Wednesday”. I will also consider a post like this. 🙂

  3. I love it! I was thinking about writing a post very similar to this concerning the writing/teaching/family life. Right now, everything seems out of balance. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like we sometimes work just too darn much. 🙂

    • oliviaobryon says:

      I would love to see you post on these topics. As I wrote mine, I could not help but think about how much more difficult it would be to balance all of this with kids. I’m inspired by every working/teaching mom out there!

  4. I’m envious of how in control of your life you are! I want this! lol. Keep it up Liv, you work your booty off!

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Haha, thanks 😉 Not sure I’m actually in control, but at least this way I get a little rest and feel more balanced. Still figuring out the right ratio of it all… I think it’s just important to remember that we all need something a little different. If you’re loving most of the way you spend your time then that’s what matters 🙂

  5. kingmidget says:

    There are probably plenty who would disagree with this, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the way you have divvied up your evenings. The no technology time, the “me” time, and whatever else comes with the rest of the evenings in the week. Very cool.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Thanks, I’m still figuring it out, but am definitely finding that consciously thinking through how I spend my time is making a huge difference in how I feel about my work weeks. 🙂

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