Like a lot of people these days, I am guilty of trying to do it all! This isn’t a newly developed habit – my parents can easily recall many Wednesday’s of 5-6 different practices before and after school (self-imposed not parent driven). And then came university where I worked as many as 5 different jobs at one point in time, putting in 20 hours a week, alongside my 6 classes and hours of volunteer work. Why? Because I have this fear that I might miss out on something…
So when it came to my first year of teaching it was only natural to try to do it all. I wanted to teach, coach, volunteer… whatever opportunities came up! And the school I’m at has a staff that makes so many amazing events happen all the time that there was a ton of opportunity for me. Also, I am still working a couple of jobs outside of teaching and subbing to add to the chaos that is my schedule.
Throughout the fall I rushed to basketball practices or games when the bell rang. During the winter it was volleyball. And I really loved it! I really love coaching and seeing kids outside of the classroom. I think it’s amazing to see them perform in such a different way and I was able to get to know a select number of my students in an informal setting – awesome!
But guess what? I was missing out on something. Something big! Since spring break I’ve been around in my classroom when the bell rings and some of my students stick around to chat at the end of the day. They tell me things that are going on at school or at home, they ask me about my day and my life, and they stay – almost every day. It’s not just a couple of students like coaching; since I’ve stopped coaching I’ve had a full, uninterrupted conversation with almost every single student in my class.
I’m not going to give up on coaching or volunteering because I think those are important parts of what makes a school a community and I really do love the experiences I have with students outside of school. But I have realized that having time for my students fosters my relationships, and relationships are the single most important part of my job and the reason I love it so much. Maybe I’ll just choose one sport to coach and help out with projects that I can do from my classroom. Or maybe I’ll find a way to better balance practice times with my schedule when I’m not just part-time teaching.
All I know for sure is that I will not and cannot sacrifice relationship building in hopes of “doing it all” because then I’m missing the most important piece.
How do you balance extra-curriculars with your teaching schedule?
What is the best part of coaching or running clubs for you?