Remember Me?

In a stack of papers called Connections.

  • Mar
  • 28
  • 2008

You need to be more than just your job. For so many different reasons, you have to be a complete person and that means spending time working on other areas of your life. Remember who you were before you started working? You’re still that person and still have those interests. In all likelihood, that person and those interests are what got you involved in your current job in the first place.

January, February, and most of March saw me doing not much else other than stressing about work, fretting about the papers I had graded, and worrying about the ones I hadn’t. That’s a bad circuit to be in and I know that my teaching suffered. That kind of living never brings improvement.

I’m now near the end of my Spring Break and I’ve done a lot around my place. New bookcases, new chair, proper CD organization, better use of storage areas. I’m much happier with my place than I have been for a while. And all of this not working has gotten me thinking about work in a very different way. I haven’t stumbled upon any great innovation and I’m still not sure exactly what I’m doing on Monday. But there is this: if all you are is your work, you are one dimensional and likely don’t have much to say.

There are a few entries planned and some ideas that still need pounding out on the ol’ intellectual anvil. The final push of the school year is just about upon us, but there are miles to go, y’all, before any of us sleep. Here I am, with a focus on writing a few things about how I run my classes, how students respond, details of what I should be doing versus what I actually am doing, all with the purpose of making us both better teachers. But the only way any of those things are going to get written or read is if we both agree that a job is not the entire world.

You have to remember yourself and all of the varied interests you have. Sit down at the piano again. Pick up your watercolor brush. Take your camera out on a hike. Grab that book you’ve been meaning to read. Lift your pencil and begin that script. You’re more than your job. Remember?

P.S. Let’s just pretend I was never gone, eh?


1. Ben says:

[3/28/2008 - 5:51 pm]

Welcome back, Todd! Definitely have to agree with you that a person should always be more than their job. Can’t wait for my break in a week to see if I can recharge my batteries as you have.

Can’t wait to read what you have in store for us :)

2. H. says:

[3/31/2008 - 6:33 pm]

You’re more than your job. Remember?

… and – remember, remember – there are others than your students that might rely on you, and who deserve some of your time… I sometimes worry about the long-term effects of spending so little time with friends, so much over the papers. Maybe one day I’ll look up and there’ll be nobody there? This was a refreshing reminder that a narrower focus doesn’t necessarily lead to getting more done.

3. Elona says:

[4/2/2008 - 5:44 pm]

I know exactly where you are coming from. For the last two years I’ve been getting more and more involved with digital technology, with my personal blog, my podcast and my classroom blog and other really cool programs like Voice Thread I have the students use that really engage them. But, that means that I am not doing the other things I like to do and so just this week I decided that I have to get some balance in my life and not let my passion for digital technology and teaching be the only thing I do. I’m looking out the kitchen window each day and waiting for the snow to melt so i can get back at gardening and get back into touch with nature- having a picture of a flower on my monitor just doesn’t cut it any more.