Weekend Boundaries

For the month of April, I am participating in the Blog A Day Challenge for educators. All prompts are provided by Meredith Towne (@BklynMeredith), an educator from New York.

When I first started teaching, I usually spent up to 6 hours on Saturday working. Sundays I would go to church, come home and nap, and usually log 3 or 4 hours of work before bedtime.

In the past, I haven’t been all that good with setting boundaries on my weekends.

This year, though, I’ve been better. Part of it is due to a bit of a philosophical shift–the work will get done, and nothing really says it has to get done over a weekend. Part of it is aging and realizing my body and brain actually need respite from the demands of the job.

Some weekends, when the work has really piled up and the coming week is just going to pile on more, I hunker down and work on a weekend. But I’ve really tried to not do that this year.

Today I stayed in bed until 9 a.m. reading a book I wanted to read. I taught a piano lesson. I went on a quick outing with a friend. I finished a book I’d been reading all week, then finished the book I’d been reading this morning. I made baked taquitos from scratch, and now I’m watching “The Force Awakens.”

Tomorrow I will go to church, come home, leaf through the Sunday New York Times, and I will probably grade a handful of assignments at some point.

This year I’ve come to really cherish my weekends as restorative, and I am certain it is making me a better teacher. I’m more patient during the week, I’m more adaptable, and just generally happier.

Boundaries are essential if I’m to keep teaching for another 20 years.

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