A little bit of what it's like to be me

Juggling Balls

This last week has been insanely busy (and this is coming from a guy who operates on a pretty amped-up business baseline to begin with). Here is an inexhaustive sampling of what I have done:

  • Two presentations: I blogged a bit about the presentation that I gave at ASSET last week. This past Saturday, I also co-presented a full-day workshop for NYS science teachers at the American Museum of Natural History. This second workshop was presented on behalf of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and spotlighted a ton of new resources that their education team has created to go along with three of their recent short films. It was well-received (my ASSET presentation was also well-received, though not the most popular session offered).
  • New tutoring gig: I was asked to provide AP Biology tutoring for a local tutoring company, which has me rolling in to Hicksville every week for 1.5 hours of AP Biology fun. It's an easy job, in a small group setting, but it's still 2.5 hours (including travel) of less "me time" each week. This Saturday, I'm in NYC (again) for an AP Bio crash course tutoring gig that is run through NMSI.
  • One BOE meeting: As much as I might like to attend every BOE meeting in my district, I can really only do every other one right now. Last week saw me attend a work session that was highly attended by the community to voice their various (and variously well-considered) concerns about the district's plan to sell the very building that the meeting was held in. It's not my role to have a perspective on that particular issue. I was really only there in my union VP capacity, as we have just settled a four-year contract with the district, and I thought the BOE would be voting on it at that meeting. But given the contentious nature of the occasion, and the coverage from the local print and television news media, the BOE vote was postponed until next week.
  • One new extracurricular activity: Now that Science Olympiad is over for the year, I figured I should make use of the Friday after-school slot that it used to occupy. To that end, I decided to run a 3D printing club. It's just getting off the ground, but I think it should be fun.
  • New gym membership: A new gym opened in our neighborhood, and we joined. Three times a week is the plan. Not sure I'll get there three times this week.
  • All the rest of it: The various bits of running a functioning school and home life are all in full force. I have become even more productive than normal, and have the next few weeks of school largely planned and ready to go. I'm sure the actuality of it will shift a bit as it happens, but without that type of effort, I don't think I'd have time to spend enjoying my family life. I'm now starting to plan the end of the year push, getting review materials set to be sent to publications, and starting the revision of materials for next year (which requires a bit of technical wizardry in terms of aggregating items, combining and paginating packets, and all the rest of it). Tomorrow is the second parent-conference evening of the school year.

I list all of this to point out that the notion of the "lazy teacher" remains as false as ever. My particulars may be somewhat different from other folks, but I assure the reader that the general absorption of my life by various and sundry commitments is nothing unique among those who share my profession. Somehow, we all seem to keep the balls in the air, even if we occasionally let one or two get really close to the ground.