11 October 2007

Time

Ok, just a warning, this post is going to be just one majorly long vent, at least that's what I'm intending right now as I start it. It may just end up to be a bitch session but I need to get things OUT because I feel so overwhelmed that I need to just let something out and put it into writing before I explode!

So firstly, I'd like to vent about all the information overload I've been getting lately and the LACK OF TIME to process it all. It all started at KTI this summer, but it has gotten infinitely worse since CFF Boot Camp. I KNOW there is a LOT of information out there in the now flat world and I just don't see where people find the TIME to process it all and understand it all. I follow all the 'right' blogs for educational technology. I just don't have the TIME during the work week to read them. Currently my Bloglines to read is at 266 and I know I haven't read them since Sunday. k12online is going on right now and just today I went to the webpage. I went there, saw everything that is available for me to look at, added it to delicious, and left, knowing I have NO TIME to spend on it. WHERE DO YOU FIND THE TIME????

I'm teaching full time, 5 classes of French - 2 French 5s, 2 French 4s, and 1 French Forum. Although I taught the same courses last year, the 5s and 4s were brand new to me last year. This year I was given a Smartboard and a Macbook, and we now have Moodle in my district. So, inevitably, I'm pretty much re-doing all my courses to integrate the board and as much technology as possible. Just learning how to use the board and integrating it into my current plans is a lot of time. But of course, I'm trying to do other stuff with it so finding resources and tools and then integrating THEM is even more time. Also, I've decided to have a discussion board through the Moodle online for all my courses, with posts and responses in French. Imagine HOW MUCH TIME it is taking me to read all the posts and grade them with effective feedback! I need to think of a new way of assessing the boards... Also, my Forum kids are putting together a wikispace instead of doing the normal Power Point. Of course it is awesome and going well, but very TIME CONSUMING. I've also just assigned my first podcast project and have had to quick learn Audacity to teach the kids. All these tools are so cool, but no one else is trying them, so I have to do it all on my own and take the TIME to learn it all and implement it all! And don't even talk to me about grading papers....

On top of just teaching, I've been semi tech support and go-to person for technology in my high school. Although I really DO LOVE helping the teachers, it TAKES TIME. Every day at lunch people have questions for me. During my prep periods, people find me and ask me questions. After school people stop by. Even in passing in the hallways, people ask me questions about technology. I have stopped walking through the office so often because the receptionist almost always asks me questions about her computer! GRRRR

AND, I've been hired as the CFF Coach for Wissahickon, which is GREAT. But, I'm teaching full-time at least the whole first semester. Although I'm not supposed to really START until they get my substitute, I feel obligated to get the ball rolling with the teachers and I am. So, I spent most of this week (besides the time teaching) putting together my 3-hour workshop with my teachers tomorrow, setting up and finding links for Delicious, meeting with the prinicipals about CFF and talking with the librarian about the future of her job.

And then there's family. I'm married, I have a 4 year old son, an 18 year old step-son and a 14 year old stepdaughter. My 4 year old needs constant attention, and of course I love spending TIME with him, but sometimes I feel that work takes over and there is NO TIME for him. And that just plain makes me sad. And my husband, poor guy, he gets the least amount of my TIME. He is busy too with his work, but we only really see each other 2 or so hours a day. I'm usually working during that time and he is starting to get really angry that I'm not having quality FAMILY TIME.

And weekends? Well weekends are spent cleaning the house, running errands, visiting my other family. and trying to keep my head above water with lesson planning and grading. Sometimes I try to allow myself an hour here and there to read, whether it be fiction or blogs.

Ok, I'm starting to feel better about getting this out... I'm just wondering and really seriously asking all those working mothers out there like me, who love their jobs and love doing what they do... HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME???

2 comments:

lnitsche said...

PHEW! It is exhausting to just read all you are doing. You really are an amazing and outstanding Keystone Technology Integrator. You are trying so many new tools and strategies in so many of your classes. This is truly the ride of your life!
I will tell you that the past two years I have experienced the steepest yet most exhilarating learning curve in my life. There are days when I don't come up for air. And there are days (many) when I feel like I can't keep up; that the world is moving a fast speed and everything is a blur. On those days, when I read about another edu- techie, blogger, twitter friend that feels the same way, I stop beating myself up and acknowledge that it is simply true for many of us. I also know from experience, that the speed of life and new ideas ebbs and flows. There will be days when I am unable to keep up and then, just when I think I can't take one more day, it ebbs and I find a way (creatively sometimes) to catch up (the delete key works really well!). Ultimately, it is my network that I turn to for support, to catch me up when I am behind, and to inspire me to take the next new step.
As for family, I have always put family first. They are who matter most to me. The fact that I created one more amazing experience for my students pales to the experiences I created and had with my children. They are the memories I most want to create. They will be the ones who remind me of the joys of our experiences together and will pass them onto their children (hopefully someday) when I am long past my years of teaching. Life is always about creating balance, yet often we feel out of balance. When we get that feeling, it is time to reassess, sort out the priorities, forgive ourselves, and take the next best step on our adventure.

Scott said...

I felt like was reading a description of my day as I read your post: Visitors in the early morning, visitors between classes, people "finding" me on my prep period (I try to hide, but they keep finding me), lunch time questions, summons from the principal to discuss technology, the line waiting at my door when I get back from the auditorium at the end of the day, and even the folks that know they can find me still working at 4:00, more than an hour after school lets out. When people find out you are the go to person, I think all of this is inevitable.

My partner said to me just the other day, "Didn't you retire from doing theater two years ago so you'd have more free time and get to come home in the afternoon? You seem to be working as hard or harder than you used to." He's right, I am. But I love every minute of it. That was, however, his way of telling me I need to pay some more attention to him. I know I need to re-prioritize something, but what will that something be. Being connected is awesome...and overwhelming all at the same time. Where will the TIME come from?

I heard this term at some point this week: The Web2.0 Widow. I guess that's what we're all trying to avoid...allowing our significant others to become one of those. In this new flat world, it's something we are ALL trying to figure out. We'll do it together somehow.