Wednesday, August 4, 2010's August

It's funny, because as a teacher, as soon as August comes around, my perspective shifts naturally. I dust off my alarm clock and start waking up early. I buy new planners, and start new lists. I also start new habits.

Because I'm a teacher, August is the start of my new year, and the resolutions that soon follow. New kids, new chances to grow, new yearly goals. This is the first year in my four years of teaching that I'm staying in the same position as last year: kindergarten in the morning, and first and second grade ELL groups in teh afternoon. I am, quite frankly, ecstatic about this. I poured a lot of my time and energy into making the transition from teaching second grade to teaching kindergarten a smooth one, and much of my remaining brainpower went into the two night classes each week I attended for my masters.

While I made a lot of career progress last year, areas of my personal life suffered. I tried to make up for my long hours teaching and student-ing by filling my calendar with an insane amount of social events. Kev and I spent last school year in a whilrwind of paper writing, househunting, intramural playing and beer downing. Was it fun? Absolutely. Was it healthy? Definitely not. My rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis didn't slow me down. I took my meds when I could, didn't worry about it when I couldn't.

A big RA flare up was the result, combined with a very stressful series of financial discussions in May. As a result, I realized that I physically can't sustain the breakneck pace that I worked at all last year. So, I made some changes. I spend my summer taking four summer graduate classes, so that I only have to be in class one night a week when the school year starts. I've started making lists and emailing staff, to try and get a head start on the school year. I'm playing the Game On! healthy habit building "game" with Kev and another couple, girls against boys, as well as online with a group of women I've never met in real life. Because of this, I'm getting more sleep, drinking less, eating healthier, and exercising more.

In short, it's August, and I'm bracing myself for the start of a new school year.

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