Good enough ?!?!

I’m writing this blog with stolen time (the best kind, IME).

My Thursday nights are normally spent painstakingly preparing a quiz for my form. We have a picture round with 15 pictures (spot the actor, name the TV show, etc.), 15 anagrams, 15 subject specific questions (English lit, English lang, Maths, Science, French, German…) and 15 news questions. It takes me a good hour, sometimes more – and all for a 15 minute registration period.

I’m proud of that quiz though. It has educational as well as entertainment value. It builds teamwork. It makes the registration time seem more worthwhile. It supports the rewards system as the top 2 teams get merits.

Tonight though, I’m tired. First week back after the Christmas break, jobs appearing on my desk quicker than I can shift them off it – you know what it’s like. So, I’ve nipped to onlinequizarea, sorted out 4 rounds from there and I’m writing this with the time instead.

Is that fair? Is that good enough? Is it as educational? Well, yes, yes and no, probably. But that’s OK.

I’ve told this story a number of times, but when I did my PGCE I was a year or so out of academia. My early assignments were drafted, redrafted, proofed, drafted and then submitted. I worked really hard on those assignments and put a lot into it. Then I started my teaching practice…

The assignments in the second half of the course were tackled slightly differently. They got done. Once. And then submitted. They were done in good time, they weren’t rushed, but they didn’t go through multiple drafts. I didn’t have the time and, frankly, they weren’t a priority for me.

Strangely, I got better marks on those assignments than I did on the first!

The lesson there? In this job (and, I’m sure, many others) there just isn’t time to do everything perfectly. And there really isn’t an advantage to doing so anyway. Do things properly, do them well, but sometimes you do need to prioritise, sometimes you do need to do something that’s merely ‘good enough’.

And that’s OK.

Image attribution: Good enough ?!?! Originally uploaded by AUSTIN_O


Finding time for the little things

I daren’t even look at this blog’s front end, I don’t want to think about when the last update was.

It would be very easy to abandon blogging – it’s narcissistic, time consuming, read by perhaps a handful at best. But I do find it a useful reflective process, and that;s something I’ve been struggling to find time for lately.

As is always the case, lots of stuff is happening – some in school, some out, some very good and some particularly bad.

I seem to recall that a number of my posts just before the summer were relating to me work-life balance, and as part of that I’ve benefitted from spending more time with family but I also feel like I’m trying to tread water – not that I’m not making progress, but that I’m only just keeping my head up and every now and again I get a mouthful of water that goes right up my nose and feels uncomfortable for ages. I don’t think the solution is to spend less time with family but I do think I need to prioritise things more carefully.

Hmm… a very reflective post this one, and not nearly as well edited or audience conscious as usual. Anyway, expect business to resume here shortly with an aspirational target of a post a week. It’s not that I don’t have things to talk about – it’s just about whether I find the time to do so!

Balancing Act

Image courtesy of cobalt

Image courtesy of Cobalt

The more observant amongst you will have noticed that I’ve not been posting on my blog much of late – in fact my last post was over 2 months ago!

A large part of the reason for that is my newfound version of a work-life balance. It wasn’t a conscious decision to cut back on the number of hours I spend tippy tapping away at a keyboard, but I have spent an awful lot of time in the past doing just that.

Instead, Im spending at least one day out of every weekend unplugged from my laptop and the only reason I do come back to it is to upload the (usually hundreds of) pictures I’ve taken of the day.

So – I am still here, I am still teaching, I am still creating and updating resources at Mukoku and I will carry on blogging. I’m just not going to guarantee it’ll be every week.