Monday, July 27, 2015

Emotional labour

Honestly, if you teach, and don't have emotional labour, you aren't human. Fact! (in my opinion)

Avoiding it, shutting it off, decompressing about it aren't my strong point. I internalize everything I do, and deal with it. There are days I am so happy that I skip around the house singing, other days, so sad that I cry, and yet other days angry, because I feel as if I am being taken advantage of my certain people.

Having a husband that is also a teacher (of the same subject, in the same high school), it is very tough to not talk shop at home. It is hard to turn off school and just enjoy family time.  However, it is my husband that helps me. He is so laid back, not a #gogogo type of person and is always so very reasonable. He lets me vent (and doesn't try to stop it), will vent with me, but in the end, he is always has something positive or refreshing for me. It may just be, "I love you, Shai!" or "You are right, but wait 24 hours before doing anything about it!" or "Did you stop and think about what .......?"

I love attending basketball games, football games (every home Friday), volleyball, music recitals, soccer games, orchestra concerts, jazz concerts, plays, etc. The students LOVE seeing their teachers support them, and I truly enjoy it.  My husband on the other hand, loves being home. So, as we were raising our son, unless he was involved in one of the music events or plays, my husband stayed home and I went alone. Now, that my son is away at college, I still go alone.  Some may call attending these events emotional labour, but labour that I love. It helps me to decompress.  I have been known, though, to take papers that needed to be graded with me to basketball games, and grade them in the stands while watching the game.

The emotional labour that entails from the constant paper chase teachers have to do, or the constant changes and add ons that happen, or the constant responsibilities that are added, I could do without. However, I love teaching and I love my students each year, I do it for them.

So, I guess it all comes down to the fact that I endure this, for my students.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Building Community outside the classroom.

Tonight's #flashblog assignment from out #flipclass chat was how do you experience community outside of your classroom.

There are several ways I experience community outside of my classroom. I participate in many different twitter chats. #flipclass is my favorite PLN and twitter chat, since I am with very like minded people that only help me become a better teacher. I also participate in #edchat, #mathchat, #ntchat, #teachherfriends, #edcampPGH #teachedchat, ##21stedchat and others as I happen upon them. The twitter chats are a safe place to throw ideas out, get feedback, tweak ideas, and gather support. Just tonight, @samcarney and @justinaglio and talking about starting a #edchatPA. What is really very valuable about most of the twitter chats that I participate in is that there are so many disciplines represented that you grow in many ways.

Another way that I build community outside of my classroom is to attend conferences. This past year I attended both #edcampPGH and #flipcon15. After both of these conferences (or unconference for the #edcampPGH), I left with so much excitement, motivation, and yearning. The yearning was more selfishness. I really wanted to keep chatting and learning from everyone, that I didn't want it to end.

A more recent way of building community has been active participation in voxer groups. The voxer groups are a bit different from twitter chats, since you are limited to 140 characters and you actually get to hear voices. Hearing the voice of someone you look up to professionally, while learning from them, is very rewarding and impressionable.

I am already trying to figure out, plan how I am going to attend #flipcon16 next year. I promise that I WON"T miss it. It is about a 22 hour drive from my house, but half way there is Nashville, TN. I think I am going to meet my twin in Nashville, spend several days there, and then head to Allen, TX. The ride home will be a bit harder, but possibly another over night stop back in Nashville. I have a year to figure it out.

As for #edcampPGH that is already on my schedule for Nov. 7, and again, I won't miss it. Those folks there were awesome, and an extension of my family. After all, at that edcamp, we all speak the same language. (Pittsburghian!)

I will continue to build my community! I am #alwayslearning.