Sunday, 20 May 2012
Sunday Salon: Balance
I've started my astrophysics module for the Open University and I'm now in my second week of trying to balance teaching with study with hobbies with family with having fun. It was challenging in the first week, but I think I'm starting to grips with it all now.
The key is being more organised with my time at work. Teaching is one of those jobs that could fill up every second of your life if you let it as there is always something more you could do. I'm using my time more smartly at work which has freed up more of my evenings and weekends. It also feels good to not always be focused on teaching, to have other interests too.
Having said that, studying again has been a bit of a shock! I've done no study since finishing my postgrad teaching course three years ago and no science since finishing my psychology degree four years ago. I had not studied physics for 10 years before starting. I've discovered that my brain is pretty rusty to say the least and I'm having to take it slow, working at my own speed. I'm following the content matter of the course but it's taking substantial effort. My brain is starting to adjust to study again so I'm sure it will gradually start to feel like less of a marathon as time goes by.
I am enjoying it though. There's so much I didn't know about the universe before starting and so many amazing pieces of knowledge I have found out. It's changing the way I look at the world around me and the way I think of myself. I'm already starting to wonder which module I should take once I finish this one.
Is anyone else balancing study and work? If so, any tips for me?
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
The balance between work and play is hard. I've been teaching for 22 years and you're right you could spend every waking hour trying to make the next lesson more fabulous than the last. I go into school an hour early and stay about an hour later. I do not bring anything home (unless it's a big project that needs to be graded. When I'm home - I'm home. It's only taking me many years to finally get that point and let it be OK. Have a great week :)ReplyDelete
I'm just finishing my third year and still coming to terms with it. I am able to have free weekends (this is the first year I've managed this) but do take work home every evening. Hopefully with time I'll get to the point you are at now, it sounds great :)Delete
I know if I were to return to studying right now it would be a huge shock. It sounds like you're taking it all in stride, though, and enjoying the content to boot! Excellent. :)ReplyDelete
It was a shock! My brain was like "what are you doing to me!" for the first few days and looking at equations was definitely shocking. I am determined to succeed though :)Delete
Teaching is an all encompassing job, isn't it? Sometimes I just have to tell myself to stop. Just stop. Every year I tell myself I won't bring things home with me, but every year I do. Balance is difficult at best when you're a teacher who really tries to keep up with today's 21st century students who are used to being entertained every moment of their lives with at least 2-3 electronic devices going at the same time :/ReplyDelete
I love to learn too, though and have thought from time to time about taking a class on something I personally love. Maybe I will soon :)
It is definitely an all ecompassing job, there's always something else to make or do. I try to tell myself that my students are not best served by an exhausted teacher who has no life outside of work, makes the guilt a bit less :/Delete
You should take a class!
Wow. I am glad that you are doing both! I am in the same stage - there are days when I feel too tired to learn Chinese, days like today. There are days when I question the need to study at all - after all, learning this language is just something I do for myself - it's not a degree, and I get no achievement certificate at the end of it. It's tough when you go back bleary-eyed from 10 hours at the computer, and then your Chinese teacher insists on teaching you directional complements in Chinese grammar. Sigh! But on the other hand, studying is the only thing that keeps me sane in my job...ReplyDelete
I'm glad someone else is doing it to. Like you I am not studying for a qualification but I do get credits from taking the module and a certificate so I guess I am luckier than you in that regard. We can give each other pep talks when we lack the motivation to carry on!Delete
My aunt taught for over 35 years, but finally retired last year. But even then she hasn't stopped: shes a sub several times a week. I think the lesson plans and the workload got to her. Now she works when she wants to and doesn't when she doesn't want to.ReplyDelete
It sounds like your aunt is in a good situation now. The workload of being a teacher is certainly intense, it's only now in my third year that I'm somewhat used to it and thinking of life outside my job.Delete
Good for you! It isn't east balancing so many things and organization is key. I only juggle work, with writing, and blogging- but sometimes that can become crazy. I know when my co-author was going to grad school she had to sort of roughly map out her time so that she could get papers written and study for tests. Good luck finding your groove! :)ReplyDelete
Mapping out time is a good idea, I already do that for work (I lesson plan on a Weds night every week, no matter what) and I'm already finding that some days are better for studying than others. I hope I find my groove soon :)Delete
I am just so impressed you are studying astrophysics. I think my brain would melt.ReplyDelete
I find it helpful to map out what must get done during a given day or week and then the things that I need to get to, but not necessarily in that moment. Then I get the joy of completing one list without the despair of failure!