Monday, October 29, 2012

On Loving Your Job

One of my favorite professors in graduate school always counseled us against becoming "the martyr teacher." She said you should take care of yourself and your family and give to the kids what you have left. This practice would prevent burn out and what she calls "institutional press."

I think this is good advice. It's really easy to get caught up in all that I could be doing for my kids (and sometimes I do and need a reality check that I can't fix everything that's wrong with their lives). But for the most part, I have a lot of life outside of school. So, I get a little frustrated when people want to know why I work on my day off or act like I shouldn't be doing work-related things on a snow hurricane day.

I do it because it makes me happy. This work makes me happier than almost anything else could. I have waited my whole twenty-five years on earth to know what I'm supposed to be doing, and I finally know!

I have a life and a life abundant outside of work. I run. I cook. I knit. I fiddle. I practice yoga. I study Spanish. I love my crazy rescue dog. I love my friends. I love my family. A lot. I go to every UVA home football game. I run a scholarship/mentoring group through one of the churches I attend. I go to Bible study and prayer group and political functions. I canvass for candidates I care about. I cook. I read. I watch weird foreign films.

So, please don't feel bad for me when I send a work-related e-mail at 10:30 at night on a day we have off. Believe me, there is plenty else I could be doing.

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