Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In Praise of "Normal"

Today was just a normal day. Things went fine in my classroom, I had a busy-but-not-overwhelming afternoon in the "literacy coach" part of my job, went for a 2-mile run after work, had a lovely salmon dinner with Mark, and now I'm getting ready to catch up on some grading and lesson planning.

There were no crises, no disasters, no roller-coaster rides.

In this lovely, normal day, as different things came up, I was able to devote my attention to each thing and, in most cases, I felt like I successfully accomplished some useful tasks.

As you may imagine, this is not always the case. Much of the time, my job-school-home life gets crazy busy, I feel overwhelmed and inadequate, and I wonder whether it's better to keep doggy-paddling as hard as I can, or if I would be better to just give it up and admit to the world that I'm really a fraud.

But today that didn't happen. Today was just normal and...nice. *

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*In case you're curious, here are some of the things I did today: Enjoyed some "free read" time with my students in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday. Taught students to make inferences from chapter 22 of the novel, The Jump-Off Creek, by Molly Gloss. Students performed it as a reader's theater, then wrote letters from the perspective of one of the characters. Reviewed information about the new state literacy standards. Visited another classroom and helped a special ed student with writing his narrative story. Called the Clackamas Community College English department chair to set up some collaboration between the college and the high school where I teach. Wrote a new standards/proficiency-based syllabus, with a new grading system, for a writing class I will pilot next term. Gave feedback to a colleague on the reflections she is writing to renew her National Board Certified Teacher certification. Went to the remedial reading classroom and reviewed their practice test with a group of students, to help them figure out how to "get" the right answer on their reading test next week. Enjoyed lunch with Mark and other colleagues in our office area. Worked on a new set of lessons for teaching students in English 9 how to write a character-analysis paragraph. Exchanged text messages with a daughter about her upcoming baby shower. Took a 20-minute nap after work. Wrote another page of my thesis, and did some more work on the chapter summaries. Went running for 2 miles. Washed the dishes. Wrote my blog.

4 comments:

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

So glad you were able to have a good day. Love you!

Dorothy said...

Your happy NORMAL day at work would be a very stressful one for me! You do it well, though, and I'm glad you got to enjoy the job (and the rest of your day) without added problems. :)

Mike said...

Normal days are nice. I seem to be having more of them lately and enjoy every minute of my "normal" life. There are times of stress and anxiety, however I'm finding those days to be fewer, and far between. Perhaps its because I have let someone else carry a few more rocks?

Annemarie said...

I'm LAUGHING at the part of me that somehow expected life to get more simple and quiet once kids were grown and gone. Your life is rich, full, and balanced. It's inspiring to me, but it's also a good reminder that living life fully means that life is FULL.