Here is my To-Do list for the week
- Pick up a christmas present at a Toys R Us on the other side of the county (my Toys R Us is out)
- Decorate the outside of my house for the holidays
- Figure out how to keep my toddler from knocking over the Xmas tree
- Help my daughter finish her Santa letter and mail out.
- Buy holiday gifts for the kids’ teachers. Preferably pun-type gifts, like soap with a “you’re hands-down the best!” message
- Plan my son’s birthday party and get invitations out.
- Wrap gifts for the friends we will do holidays with over this weekend.
- Plan road trip out of state over winter break.
- Put ornaments back on tree when toddler knocks them off.
- Bake something? Just because... isn’t that a holiday requirement?
- Buy husband’s holiday gift and take to friend’s house.
- Clean house.
- Put baby gates around Xmas tree.
- Help my daughter make holiday cards/crafts for friends and family.
- Organize my cat’s kennel stay while we travel.
- Get baby sitter for New Year’s Eve.
- Buy all-plastic ornaments so it doesn’t matter when my toddler knocks them off.
So.... It’s a busy time of year for me. I bet it is for many of you, too.
And that’s just the HOME to-do list. Don’t get me started on my work to-do list -- test reviews, midterms, planning for January, prepping DWT. It makes my brain hurt.
It’s hard, in this season of holidays and midterms and waiting for vacation time, to relax. It’s almost impossible for me, anyway.
But despite all the holidays and testing and cold-and-flu season -- please take a few minutes to step outside your own personal to-do list to relax -- and reflect.
Even if it’s just in the car on your way home after work, or after your TV show, or whenever -- think about your semester.
- What hasn’t worked so well?
- What would you like to change for next semester?
- What do you need to make sure to maintain?
- What can you improve?
- What new thing do you want to try this semester?
Don’t wait until mid-January to reflect. By then, first semester will be long gone and too distant a memory.
Take ten minutes now to think about your semester and jot down a couple of notes for yourself to look at when you get back in January.
Part of what makes teaching hard is the isolation from other adults. Please know that your colleagues have your back and your social studies department has your back. Share with each other to make your lives easier. It sometimes helps to reflect with a colleague -- or just by yourself.
How crazy is your holiday to-do list? How crazy is your last-8-days-before-vacation-work to-do list? But more importantly, what have you learned as you reflected on your fall semester? What revelations have you come up with? As always, I’d love to hear!