The beginning of this school year, I got a glimpse of what could be the end of my career teaching in public education. Not with a bang.... but with a paperwork and regulation induced stroke of unintended consequences. The jury is still out on just how that will end up.
That said... I have been looking a little more closely at my own actions. As a result, I am actively attempting to slow down a little... not push as hard... and work smarter.
Part of this is not going in as early each day, and staying late. Contract arrival time is 7:40. Contract day end time is 3:25. For the last ten years, I have typically arrived at school before 7am and stayed til 4pm. Doing the math on that, I find I have worked roughly five weeks out of every year for free.
Free. Without compensation. Without even a thank you.
I did it because I thought it was right, and professional, and to do my job as best I could despite the road blocks thrown in by admin.... or maybe in spite of them.
I'm cutting back on that extra time, and using my time at school more efficiently as much as possible. It does mean an awful lot of things required by administration are no longer getting done this year, but the honest-to-god teaching end of it has benefited greatly.