During the past three years of teaching, my perception of many things has changed, especially the concept and use of a weekend. As a result of teaching, my concept of a weekend was used to just, naturally, plan for the following week or really, plan for Monday. When you just start out teaching, you are constantly creating new lessons, searching for assistance, writing exams, grading exams and the funniest part of it is that you probably won’t use any of it your second year. Last year, I spent a lot of time during the weekend creating assignments that I knew I’d want to use this year. And now, I take those and add to them or add new ones. I saved a lot of time last year just not half-assing everything I did.
But as I begin to countdown the final weeks, I also realize that I am counting down the final “weekends” of being a teacher. I do not know what it means to not do work on weekends, take a day trip, fly by the seat of your pants, just go with it…you name it. Although there are a lot of things coming to an end, the increase in free time and the decrease in stress are the two that I anticipate being the most enjoyable, but also being the ones that will require the most adjusting.
I am not sure how odd this is, but I’ve grown to hate unstructured free time because you always have that “I could be doing something” feeling as a teacher. To ease myself out of this feeling, I try to only plan the main priorities for a weekend and they are usually a combination of work and fun. Once those priorities are met, then I really try to just let loose and hang out. In fact, I’ve been using a timer when it comes to planning or grading, and it usually is done while my laundry is going so I can’t go anywhere anyway. This tactic is awesome because I just get my work done.
This past weekend got me so excited for life beyond teaching. I was really good about just getting things done and then spending time relaxing or with friends. In fact, this weekend I got to catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in awhile. This Friday, I went to my 5th(!) hot yoga class, then met up with one of my best friends out here for pizza making, beer, and a movie. I am really enjoying making pizza’s lately. Saturday was spent with a couple guy friends, teaching me how to play “Settlers”. And today, some church, dinner, and beer action. I feel ready for the week 🙂