August 20, 2012

back in the saddle

As we steamroll through August, another year at the virtual school is upon me ...

It seems like just yesterday, I was dreaming of my maternity leave and the extended "vacation" I would receive before I was officially back to work ...  And, while I'm excited to get back into the swing of things and dive head first into high school biology, part of me is apprehensive as to how I'm going to find the "balance" I need to make everything (my teaching and "momming") work.

Thinking back, my first year at the virtual school began after Malcolm's first birthday, so I didn't have to worry about nursing, or baby food, or even moments of cuddling and rocking before nap time ...  Malcolm was already pretty independent:

I could put him in the high chair and he would eat by himself.

I could lay him in the crib and he would fall asleep.

Pearl, on the other hand, is only five months old, so she requires a lot more "hands on" attention.  While she isn't nursing all the time anymore (more like every 3-4 hours), eating still takes up a large part of her day.  And, while she can put herself to sleep, she is inconsistent (we don't have a schedule locked down like we did with Malcolm at this age) and often needs a little help from me.

It doesn't help that, in typical fashion (every school I've been at has been this way), the start-up of this school year is a bit of a scramble.

With less than one week to go, I'm still not certain what part of orientation I am responsible for and/or when I'll be holding my live class sessions.  Although I'm flexible and ready to just go with the flow, I still have to figure out how I'm going to occupy two children during those live moments online ... And how I'm going to focus and get work done when I (inevitably) have kids awake at different times throughout the day ...

Cue Elizabeth and her blog.

She has organized a "Teacher Link-up" with tips for teachers ...  And while many of the tips probably will not apply to me (since I'm not in a brick-and-mortar building and, thus, don't get to organize or decorate physical objects in my classroom), I'm hoping they will give me some inspiration as the new school year begins.  Maybe they will make me nostalgic for the times when I was teaching in a "real" classroom?

Who knows ...

What I do know, is that, while it will be challenging, I am going to make this year a successful one.

If I've learned anything as a teacher, it is that a positive attitude really does get you far.  From my (hellish) days as a student teacher, I somehow managed to muddle through with sheer willpower and determination ...  And (on most days) a smile on my face.  I remember hearing that "students shouldn't see you smile until after Christmas break," but I totally disagree.

It is the relationships that make teaching worthwhile ...  The chance to connect with students, and for them to see that you are a real person.  So, despite the chaos that is the start-up of another school year, I resolve to be as positive as possible.

And organized ...

And flexible ...

And ...

1 comment:

  1. I am SO SO glad you posted and I found your blog! This summer, I taught my first two virtual classes EVER - and I will be teaching two more this year in addition to my part-time "live" teaching gig. That's all in addition to - of course - mommying. :) I would LOVE LOVE any tips you have for teaching virtually, time management at home, etc. Yay!! Thanks for linking!