As teachers we are often expected to go above and beyond. Sometimes it is schools that place these objectives on us requiring more paperwork or lengthier lesson plans. Sometimes parents expect it: asking teachers to call home every time a homework assignment is missed or wanting 24/7 contact to discuss every detail of the child’s schooling.
But sometimes it’s us. We expect a lot of ourselves in this profession. Raise your hand if you’ve ever worked passed the close of the work day? How about more than two hours after work? Taken work home? Bought school supplies? Paid for a field trip? Shoot…right now, you’re probably reading this on your own time hoping that there’s something here that might help you tomorrow. And if you’re reading my small blog, you’re probably reading a lot of other blogs, too. Are you on the EC Ning? Twitter? Are you a fan of educational sites on Facebook? Is most of your personal reading really designed for young adults?
It’s a lot of work. So the question is…when is it OK to say no?
I used to wholeheartedly belive in the teacher-as-martyr philosophy, but with kids of my own, I just don’t want to spend tons of time on school work. I blog mainly because it is a good way to get my thoughts in order (and receive occasional advice through comments in return). But I’m coming to believe that it’s OK to not be a part of everything. To not spend hours on in-depth assessment for every paper. To not be connected to other teacher every single day. To not have every lesson be innovative and chock full of meaning (meaning lots of planning time). That if I were meant to work a ten-hour day, I would be paid for a ten-hour day. So I’m asking again…
When is it OK to say no?