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Lighten Up Your Load

A few weeks ago, I decided to cut down on the amount of work I was bringing home. A heavy bag that never got opened once I'd get home, wasn't making me happy.

I would leave school every day thinking that when I got home I could put in a few hours of work before going to bed. I never seemed to remember, while in school, that at home there would be other tasks that needed my attention. Some of them had an educational focus but were not school-related; my doctoral work alone occupies a huge space when I get home. And, of course, there's my family that needs me as much as I need them.

So, I decided to conduct an experiment. I would only bring home one or two items that I knew I needed for planning purposes, such as my calendar, my teacher journal (sometimes I'd be able to write before I left school), and a professional book and/or teacher guide.

I am happy to report that his experiment has been very successful! I don't miss all the papers and books I used to carry back and forth from school to home and back to school again. I can't even remember what I had in my teacher bag!

There is one notebook however that, from time to time, I wish I'd remembered to bring to school; I will add it to my bag starting next week. In this notebook I write down important ideas about teaching and learning that I want to remember. These turn up randomly and I've regretted not having this notebook handy to jot them down.

So, I highly recommend paring down the contents of your teacher bag, if you haven't already done so. It will lighten up your load, literally and figuratively.

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I share some questions I'm grappling with in my classroom. 

No answers. 

Just questions.

(1) What purpose do math stations serve in my classroom?

(2) How can I continue to engage writers without overwhelming them or me?

(3) How can I determine if my tangled readers are learning to be better readers from the books they choose to read?

(4) How can I strike a balance between student choice and making sure my students learn what they need to learn at any given time?

(5) Am I demanding too much from my students?

As I find responses and solutions to these issues, I will post some ideas on my blog.

Any thoughts are more than welcomed!