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Discussion Starter #1
<p>Ah ,,, two revelations this weekend:</p>
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<p>1.  The only way to NOT wake depressed on work-days is to be completely prepared for my lessons that day which means planning weeks in advance.  So that's my goal for my planning time this week, come h or high water.</p>
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<p>2.  Teaching is NOT the right job for a single-parent.  It is hard enough to give the kids the attention they need (supervising home work, piano practice, getting them to help with laundry, dishes, meal prep, cleaning rooms, and just being together) when doing all the adult chores (laundry, cooking , grocery shopping, house cleaning, yard work, bill paying, etc.), but add on the fact that teachers bring hours of additional work home with them and THAT IS NOT FAIR to the kids.</p>
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<p>I had revelation 1 which lead to revelation 2 -- my poor kids get SO short-changed and that is even with my now shorter commute and smaller school.  I usually save work until they are in bed, but then I am not fully prepared for the upcoming day/week.</p>
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<p>Just my current thoughts.  May re-work them.  Now dragging them off to the bookstore/craft store because I can't swear the book I need is in my library (I saw it but am not 100% sure I left it on my desk) and I need materials for the lesson.  This sucks.</p>
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<p>M</p>
 

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<p>Depends on the single parent and the teacher, I believe.  </p>
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<p>I am a solo parent and an elementary school teacher in a high-needs, urban school.  I definitely do not bring home hours of work.  With the exception of an hour or so on the weekend to plan for the week, I am good to go.  And, I am not staying afterschool for hours either.  I tend to leave 15-45 minutes after dismissal. </p>
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<p>This definitely doesn't mean it is all easy, wonderful and not without its issues.  But, how I deal with that stress is the key, as it would be in any other job. </p>
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<p>My biggest issue with being a teacher is the lack of respect and constant need to fight and advocate for my students to receive equal services and experiences. </p>
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<p>Being a teacher has been a god-send for me and my ds and I know it can be the same for other single parents.  We have 3 other single parent teachers at our school with similar positive feelings of the experience.  It just depends on the person.  Teaching is NOT for everyone... married or single. </p>
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<p>I am very sorry, though, with the issues you are having with teaching.  It's not always easy, so I can completely commiserate. </p>
 

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I am not a single parent, but I am a teacher. For years I did what you describe -- took hours of work home every night. It was okay pre kids, but I couldn't figure out how to get my job done in a reasonable period of time. I've worked hard to shorten that now that I've got two underfoot at home, and I've had pretty good success. Here's what works for me:<br><br>
Never do anything you can delegate to students. I used to do many things I didn't need to, like pass back papers, move tables, organize books, clean supplies, put papers in order...the list goes on and on. Then I realized that five minutes of class time having students do it saves me an hour or more of my time. Good bargain.<br><br>
Only grade key assignments. Daily work just check for completion, then go over answers with the class. They learn more and my time and sanity are saved. Not grading them means much less work for me.<br><br>
Grade for mastery, not completion. So give a five question quiz over your five essential learnings. Do not grade the fifty practice questions students did to prepare for the quiz.<br><br>
Student as learner and teacher. Do readings and report outs, projects with presentations, student led lesson reviews, anything that takes the burden of lesson prep and puts it in the student.<br><br>
Revise, not recreate. Save what you did each year, and modify it to improve it or make it suit your current students. Work with your team to create lessons. Beg, borrow and steal great lessons from anyone and everyone. Do not try to create every day from scratch.<br><br>
I used to work until 6 pm daily, and put in hours on the weekend to boot. Now I'm done by 3:30, with an occasional errand or grading to do for an hour or so maybe twice a month. Huge difference. Hope these suggestions help you find a better home work balance.
 

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<p>Oh, meandmine, I feel you!  When I read your subject line, I actually cringed- I'm a teacher, but not a single parent, and my immediate reaction was, "ugh, that would be impossible!!"  I respect the stamina you must have to get through it all.</p>
<p>That being said, I do think lunarlady gave you some great ideas, although I do know that the actual implementation is very dependent on your particular school environment.  Are there things that you are currently doing, but not required to do, that you could give up or delegate?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<p>Thanks, Mamas!</p>
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<p>I think the "dependent on your school environment" piece is a big factor. </p>
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<p>My reflections were on my experience, only.    I love what I do *at work,* but I don't want to bring it home with me.  I want my family and personal time to be mine.</p>
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<p>There are lots of other pay-offs to being a teacher, of course -- now that I work close to home I am about to cancel childcare in the afternoons and be with my kids more (although that means no more working late).  There are the summers off (except when I am in professional education classes -- two weeks last summer); there are all the school breaks off so there is no childcare scramble.</p>
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<p>And those are great perks -- question for me is -- are they worth the daily pressure to get work done.</p>
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<p>Thanks again for your thoughts!</p>
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<p>M</p>
 
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