Monday, August 1, 2011

Reality Check

Wow. Sometimes I amaze even how I have come SO far and yet I haven't gone far at all. The good news is, I caught myself this time before I drive myself insane again.

Back when I started this blog, I explained some things about why I created the blog (which you can read about here and here, in my first two posts--what's really interesting is in post 2 I talked about wanting to try 2nd grade again and while that didn't happen last year, it will this year. Weird!). Additionally, just about a year ago, I wrote about how different I was from six months previously (read it, it explains a LOT).

One of the biggest things I learned after leaving my classroom in the 2010 school year was that I had no boundaries. I had not established that these things fit into this category and other things weren't going to be a cause for concern or whatever. I took on way too many things at the same time and that is one of the major reasons I ended up where I ended up (depressed, anxious and hating my job). 

Over the weekend, while we were at our cabin, I had set about on a mission to conquer the notion of implementing Daily 5 and Reading Street. I worked on it a total of about 3 hours I think and finally came to what I thought would be a workable situation depending on what my schedule ends up looking like at school.

But when I got home yesterday, I got a HUGE reality check. After we'd settled back in at home and had some lunch, my fabulous neighbor brought over a package that had been delivered for me on Friday. She said she had worried it would rain and she didn't want it to get wet while we were gone. (Yes, I do have the best neighbors ever, they even mow the side of our yard that touches their driveway because they rule!) I was wondering what the box was because I hadn't ordered anything.

It was my portfolio box from National Board. And the world came to a screeching halt. I mentally slapped myself and said a few choice curse words to myself in my head. [Namely along the lines of uh...Sunny? What the #$%@$ do you think you're doing to yourself here?!]

I'm putting myself right back in the same position I was in before. I want to try all of these things and make them awesome and be the best teacher ever. But I am one person. And I am pursuing National Board. I.Will.Not. put myself in a position again where I have too much on my plate and can't handle it. No way. I NEVER want to repeat the feelings I had when I was going through that. My therapist would be super proud of me....because I realized, before I got myself neck-deep in the good ole "way too much on my plate" snafu, that this is not going to work. 

I AM going to do National Board this year and I AM going to kick it's ass. Of that, I have no doubt.

I need to stop and think about whether or not I am going to be able to successfully handle National Board on top of trying to implement Reading Street (which is entirely new to me) AND integrating it with Daily 5. I'm not saying it isn't possible. And I know that I will love Daily 5 once I get it going. However...I am not going to put myself in a position where I feel overwhelmed needlessly. I have to think about the big picture. I may well find that it is just smarter to stick with Reading Street this year and then next year, when I am more comfortable with it, integrate Daily 5. I may well find that by November, I'm feeling a-okay with my curriculum and routines and want to institute Daily 5 then.

I don't know. I am still going to look at how I can integrate both but I am giving myself an out. Unless you've been in that depressive/anxious situation, it's hard to explain how it makes you feel. I already have massive insecurity issues (thanks mom and dad!) and it's high time I take care of me and what's good for me. I'm glad that I had something stop me and at least make me THINK about what I am trying to do here. Maybe it won't curb my desire to do both....but it will at least make me think about it and that in and of itself is priceless.



  1. I write this to you as i would say to MYSELF or dear friend...
    Give yourself a break! I am the SAME way...but for you to remain LOVING your job (which is why u are doing the national board stuff in the first place) you MUST do what is best for you! You are and WILL be an amazing teacher...even if you can't "follow" Daily 5 this year. It IS a lot to take on, as I am doing it just for the second year, and don't so the complete 5...
    Please, enjoy the remainder of our short Michigan summer, follow your gut, and HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS!!!

  2. I ditto what Tracy said. Do what you can so you don't let anxiety come in a mess with you! I'll be doing a Daily 5 modified to the Daily 3. :)


  3. Touche!

    I think I am finding that it's so easy to get excited about awesome programs and then when the chips fall, it's so easy to be overwhelmed! A lot depends on my schedule. If I could carve out 2 1/2 hours for literacy a day (not counting writing which is pushing it!), I could work it easily....but I am not going to drive myself nuts if I can't do Daily 5 this year :)

  4. I totally know where you're coming from - it was hard for me to learn to prioritize so that I didn't drive myself insane. It was hard to say "no". But it was the best thing for me! A happy and healthy teacher is a more effective teacher, no matter what programs you are or aren't using ;) Way to keep a good perspective about this!

  5. I totally agree Sarah!! I was always the person everyone asked to help or join a committee because I did not know how to say "no". I finally learned to...and apparently, sometimes I have to say it even to myself :)