Posts tagged ‘hours’

The Thing About My Job Is. . .

My career/life purpose coach gave me the assignment this week to look at my job — teaching in particular — and look at what I like and dislike about it.  It’s that time of year again when the school year is more than half way over, and summer vacation/summer jobs are peeking over the horizon.  So, what am I drawn to?  What do I enjoy about what I do, and where can that take me?

I’ll start with do not likes, so that I end on a positive note:

  • Excessive grading (unless I’m paid for it!) — especially of projects and other complicated assignments
  • Excessive Planning
  • Balancing interesting activities with less intense planning and less intense grading
  • Working at home (and not getting paid for it, and not doing things I want to do at home)
  • Managing disruptive students
  • Managing off-task students
  • Dealing with a loud noise level
  • Keeping a classroom organized
  • Less pay
  • No insurance (which can also be a benefit)
  • Negative parental contact

 

And then there are likes:

  • The stability of the job.
  • The hours.
  • The variety of the job.
  • Going into a job and leaving the house.
  • Less pressure than last year with a specials subject (Spanish).
  • Interacting with people.
  • Students and teachers greeting me in the hallways.
  • Students saying they are enjoying an activity.
  • Managing students who are mostly on-task and interested in the work.
  • Helping teachers or students who need help.
  • Connecting with students/teachers.
  • Snow days (if there are any!)
  • nice lunch (on full days)
  • on my feet and moving around
  • having a good laugh
  • fun activities
  • positive parental contact, including open house and conferences

That’s it for now.  I may add more later.

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This Overload

I’ve always been a workaholic.  I know people who are worse, but I’m pretty bad.  And I’m good at pushing myself too far.  In the past my parents kept me from completely self-destructing.  Sophomore year of high school I had a full course load: AP English, AP European History, Spanish II, Chemistry, Geometry, Symphonic Winds, Sunrise Singers, etc.  I had Madrigals during my lunch period.  (And I think I must be forgetting a subject.)   I was falling asleep at the kitchen table i the morning.  That’s when my parents stepped in.  I only needed 3 science classes and 3 math classes to graduate.  So, my junior year I dropped science, and my senior year I dropped math.  My life was a little less crazy.  I had time to be in my very first musical.  But I resented not being able to do what the other smart kids were doing.  I felt like a failure.

In college I had my second intervention.  We had to take math placement tests before we started school to know which math courses to take as freshman.  I had only taken 3 math classes in high school, so I never took AP Calculus, as the other Honor students had.  But algebra came easy to me — I love balancing equations — and somehow I still remembered everything from my junior year in Trigonometry.  I passed the test with flying colors and was placed into Calculus.  Then my parents stepped in again.  They talked about their experiences in school, how they’d done a fantastic job on the placement tests and then struggled painfully just to pull off a “C” in Calculus.  So, I told the math department chair that I wanted to take Intro. to Calculus instead.  She was disappointed.  She gave me a speech about the importance of having more women in the field of mathematics and talked about how high my score had been on the test.  And I felt a bit guilty.  But I got to be in Pirates of Penzance the year before the musical program collapsed.  I flew through the first half of Intro. to Calculus and then struggled when the actual Calculus began with all its derivatives and graphing glory.  I’d been rescued again.  I resented it then, but I’m not sure I do now.

Now here I am, an adult.  I’ve been on my own for a while now, and here I am pushing myself again, trying to get as many hours as possible in my new job situation.  Squeezing in as many tutoring students as the tutoring center will allow; attempting to work with middle school and high school students — even though I thought I’d never work with those age levels or that content; taking on extra projects.  Not making time to eat enough.  Watching the last of my free time slip away. . .

Will I save myself?

I tell myself I need the money.  I tell myself it’s all hard now because it’s new.  It will get easier as there is less to plan, and I’m a little less green. Especially in the summer.

So, I  wonder: am I doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again?  Am I stuck in a pattern of working around the clock, testing myself until I break?  Or can I handle it this time?  Maybe this time I’m not over my head, and I can ride the storm.  The stress I’m feeling now will be short, and everything will soon return to normal.

But if the time comes, will I be strong enough to take the reigns and make the same decisions my parents had to make for me?

My Perfect Job — Revisited

"Target" courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Target” courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Almost a year ago I wrote about my perfect job.  My situation has changed, and I’ve been wanting to go back and compare my current situation with my proposed ideal job situation. So, here we go:

I can walk or bike to work.  

Unfortunately, this is still not the case; I really wish it were.  I suppose working from home would count, too.

I do not need to wear dress clothes, shoes, or excessive make-up. I am comfy all of the time. 

This actually doesn’t bother me as much anymore, except on Tuesdays, which are my SUPER long day, in which I’m in those teacher clothes for 13-18 hours.

I work for 8 hours. Then, I am done. I do not need to take any work home, leaving me time to write, read, get outdoors, and whatever the heck else I feel like doing, without even thinking about work . . . unless I want to.

Ok, now I’m getting a bit depressed because, at this point, I’m 0-for-3.  But I have had more time to explore and relax.  And I am probably averaging 8 hours a-day overall.  But I definitely take my work home.  A lot of it.

I work a regular shift. (9-5 or close)

Nope!  My main part-time job is about a regular work day, but my tutoring and writing workshop, and random else is ALL over the place.  I’ve found the variety enjoyable, though.

I am given advanced notice of my schedule (not one week before).

Hmm. . .  that’s fairly accurate.  But sometimes it’s a week before.  The worst part is tutoring cancellations.  I’ve gotten some of those a few hours before I was supposed to have the appointment.

I do not need to stay late to help close up, nor take an extra shift.

Yes!  I got a sure one!

I work for something I believe in. I do not support a company or sell a product that I believe isn’t good for people.

This is true if you ignore the part where I’m at a Catholic school and not Catholic, or if you ignore that I have a problem with our current educational system.  Hmm . . . I don’t know if this counts as a win.  But, I have to say, that despite those issues, I am pretty happy with my work environment, and my work focuses on learning, which I love.

The people I work for seek out my input, fully listen to my ideas, and may implement them (immediately!)

Hmm. . .  I think this is a N/A right now.  No examples come to mind.

I am appreciated, needed, and recognized.

THIS is DEFINITELY true.  I’ve been truly touched by some of the feedback I’ve gotten from all of my jobs.

I am able to use my creativity.

Yes!  As much as I whine about lesson planning, it does allow me to use my creativity.

Someone shows me how to get started, but I do not have someone standing over my shoulder at all hours.

Also true.

I feel like my work is making the world a better place.

True!

I am not pushing anyone to be or do anything they don’t want to be or do.

Eh.  I’m not sure about this one.  It’s school.  There’s a lot of pushing involved in a school.  And in tutoring, for that matter.  Not always, but often, unfortunately.

I am not telling people what to do.

Again, it’s kind of part of the job.  I do try to give my students some options, but a lot of the time I am in charge.

No one is ordering me what to do.

That is true.

I have a lunch break, and I actually get to each lunch.

Yes!  Amazingly I am still a teacher, and yet, I actually eat lunch!  With time left over!  (Crazily enough, it’s the days I’m not teaching when I sometimes miss lunch now.

I am able to perform/present.

Yep.  Teacher = me!  Although, I would love it if I could actually “perform” more in my job, to be more of my goofy self, be the crazy Spanish teacher.

I may do some speaking, writing, or editing.

Speaking?  Check.  Writing?  Check.  Editing?  Check.  Wow!

I sometimes work in a team and sometimes alone.

True.  I’m mostly alone now, but occasionally we Spanish teachers from the company will share ideas with each other, or I’ll get some ideas for tutoring from other tutors.

I do not need to attend meetings often, and if and when I do, they are short.

Well, I have more meetings than I’d like, and sometimes they go a little long, but it’s nothing compared to what I’ve experienced in the past.

I am able to move a lot, even if that means getting out of my chair frequently and walking around for a bit or stretching before I return to work.

Check!  I move a lot as a teacher.  I don’t move about quite as much as a tutor, but at least I know I’ll be moving after each hour.

I am not standing in one place the entire day.

Yep!

I have variety in my work.  (I’m kept on my toes and not bored out of my mind!)

Absolutely!

I have a good rapport with my boss(es) and coworkers.

Yes!  Super nice people!

I jump out of bed in the morning, eager to get to work.

Really?  Did I really put this?  Does anybody actually “jump out of bed”, “eager to get to work?”  I think I was getting delusional by this point.  But, I’d be happy to be wrong!  Are there jumper-out-of-bed-ers among you?  Hmm?  On the other hand, I do enjoy my morning routine: in the car, drinking my energy tea, eating breakfast, standing outside and greeting the parents and students in the drop-off lane.  Ok, now that I’m writing this, I feel like I look absolutely crazy, but I really, really do enjoy that part of my day.  Except it’s really hard to drink tea and eat cereal at the same time.  Gotta work on that.

I feel energized as I leave work.

Hmm. . . No.  I’m still exhausted by the time I leave.

I love my job.

“No” to this one, too.  There are points when I feel I love my job.  I definitely like my job, but I don’t see myself doing it for the rest of my life. But maybe some people aren’t meant to have just one job. I had one job.  Now I have some others jobs.  And this is where life is taking me right now.  And I am very content with where I am right now.

18-27  Not bad! Two-thirds?  Of course, I would love to get a perfect 100%, but then I’d have to be ready to “jump out of bed” every morning, and I just don’t jump out of bed any morning. . .

 

 

My Perfect Job

Many women have written a list of what they want in the perfect partner.  But, what about the perfect job?  Lately, when it comes to specifics, I’ve become stymied, as if blocked by something.  Maybe I’m not letting myself be as free as I should.  Let’s see what I can get out here:

  • I can walk or bike to work.
  • I do not need to wear dress clothes, shoes, or excessive make up. I am comfy all of the time.
  • I work for 8 hours. Then, I am done. I do not need to take any work home, leaving me time to write, read, get outdoors, and whatever the heck else I feel like doing, without even thinking about work . . .unless I want to.
  • I work a regular shift. (9-5 or close)
  • I am given advanced notice of my schedule (not one week before)
  • I do not need to stay late to help close up, nor take an extra shift.
  • I work for something I believe in. I do not support a company or sell a product that I believe isn’t good for people.
  • The people I work for seek out my input, fully listen to my ideas, and may implement them (immediately!)
  • I am appreciated, needed, and recognized.
  • I am able to use my creativity.
  • Someone shows me how to get started, but I do not have someone standing over my shoulder at all hours
  • I feel like my work is making the world a better place.
  • I am not pushing anyone to be or do anything they don’t want to be or do.
  • I am not telling people what to do.
  •  No one is ordering me what to do.
  • I have a lunch break, and I actually get to each lunch.
  • I am able to perform/present.
  • I may do some speaking, writing, or editing.
  • I sometimes work in a team and sometimes alone.
  • I do not need to attend meetings often, and if and when I do, they are short.
  • I am able to move a lot, even if that means getting out of my chair frequently and walking around for a bit or stretching before I return to work.
  • I am not standing in one place the entire day.
  • I have variety in my work.  (I’m kept on my toes and not bored out of my mind!)
  • I have a good rapport with my boss(es) and coworkers.
  • I jump out of bed in the morning, eager to get to work.
  • I feel energized as I leave work.
  • I love my job.

 

Image: chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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