I hope everyone is having a great start to their school years. Whether in staff week now, or already starting with students, it is a special time of the year. My granddaughter Imogene started the four year old class today at her school, and Ingrid starts her first grade year on Wednesday. As I've written before, I am not back, but I will be beginning to work with a new assistant at my school who is in another school's alternative licensing program. I have done this before, and it's rather fun to keep busy in education just a little bit, yet keep most of the time not working. I'm looking forward to meeting this young teacher-to-be.
According to some research shared in an ASCD article I found here, "a teacher makes more than 3,000 nontrivial decisions every day." While this can ebb and flow, I suspect that in an interactive classroom, this is true most days. You say you're busy--YES. You say you're tired when you arrive home.-YES. Now you know some of the answer as to why. And this doesn't include the extra number of hours outside the classroom learning, planning, meeting. I know that I am proud to say I was a teacher, I loved every bit of it, and am proud of all of you who are still going!
The habits described above are difficult to dismiss, however. I do not have 3,000 decisions to make anymore. I am "at loose ends". The definition given by the Online Free Dictionary is "without a clear purpose or occupation" and "restless and unsettled". It's not that I'm unhappy or regretting retiring, it's that I find myself without a method to choose what to do any given day. It's actually easier if I do have an appointment or a meeting. Then I can work around it, choose to do one "thing"before, and the rest of the "things" later. I've always been a list maker, proud of being task oriented, etc. Now I see that it's time for change, or for finding new ideas for planning. Or, as I write, something is clicking. Perhaps I can give myself permission to do less, to read in more than snatches at a time, to figure out that a long walk is not time consuming, but both good for me and okay. I can be at loose ends and that's just fine.