It is report card writing “season” for teachers at my school right now. I use the word “season” purposefully in order to illustrate the amount of time and effort it takes teachers to create them. They are usually written outside of school time, typically on evenings and weekends.
I don’t say this to complain or to have anyone feel sorry for me. It is part of the gig. The reason I bring it up is that this “season” always causes me to re-evaluate the idea of balance in my own life. In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey names the search for balance as Sharpening The Saw and talks about it in two ways.
First, finding balance involves looking inward at yourself and trying to find a balance between body, mind, and soul. Any well balanced lifestyle involves activities such as exercise and a healthy diet. It includes finding ways to learn new things or develop enjoyable habits. And it involves looking for things in our lives that uplift our souls.
The second way that Covey talks about finding balance is in the roles that we live out on a day to day basis. I need to find ways to balance my roles of teacher, vice-principal, husband, father, son, brother, and friend.
It can be very difficult to find balance when any of these roles makes greater demands on us than they do usually. It is almost impossible for one of those roles not to suffer. As teachers, it is important not to let the demands of our career overshadow the other roles in our life that we have and to ensure our spouses and kids do not face the brunt of our work demands.
So, my advice? Go right now and hug your kids and spouse. Eat dinner with them and ask them about their day. Take them out to celebrate when you finish off that last report card.
Happy Report Card Season!