It was 8:51 pm on Sunday night, Columbus Day weekend. I said to my husband, “I’m going in to work from 8-3 tomorrow.” He looked at me skeptically and said, “OK?”

I don’t know about you, but I was grateful to have those hours off Monday so that I could “catch up” with grading, assessing, documenting, planning, differentiating, and learning my new Everyday Math curriculum. There just seems to always be something else to do! I’m not really complaining; I love my work. I especially LOVE having an entire day to myself in my classroom to do things — things that I simply don’t have time to attempt within the time constraints of a normal school week. Monday, I opened up my Pinterest boards and made plans to do that cool thing in Reading. I researched effective goal-setting strategies for fifth graders, and I strategized the best way to present the information to each guided reading group. I dug out the BEST, most effective hands-on activities for Math Workshop and prepared stations and instructional groups. I switched out bulletin boards, and put out some tasteful (but still awesome) decorations for Halloween. I reviewed my upcoming social studies and science units and started prepping excellent (and cool) lessons that will engage all learners.

So, why do we do this? Why do we, as teachers, set aside our personal time to go to work? If I’m in town on the weekends, I can say with almost 100% certainty that I will be in my classroom working for a couple of hours. I think it’s because if our mission is to educate each student to achieve personal excellence, then we for darn sure need to achieve personal excellence in teaching. Or maybe it’s because, come Monday morning, we’d rather be the windshield than the bug. Either way, it’s because we care about doing the BEST job we can for our students.

Monday was great! I hope you enjoyed your day off, however you chose to spend it! And on the next day we have “off”, maybe I’ll bump into you in the hallway on the way to the copy machine.

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