Balancing Act

I love photography.  My dad was the one that got me interested in photography with his Canon film camera. He used the camera to document our family’s lives.  Being the first child, my birth and childhood were well documented.  There are lots of pictures of me, some of my sister when she was a child, and maybe handful of my little brother.  Oops.

My mother also had a Canon film camera and it was the first camera I ever used.  The photography bug really started during middle school.  I used my Mom’s Canon for a photography class.  I was really excited.  But, back in the day, you had to use film.  You only had 24 shots… maybe 25 or 26.  There was no “review” button, no do overs.  You crossed your fingers with every press of the shutter button.  Then, you had to purchase film all the time.  You couldn’t reuse the stuff.  My photography class would get expensive.

(… wow, you really like cameras.)

Back in 2002 or so, I purchased my first camera: a 4 megapixel Kodak digital camera.  Back then, 4 megapixels was a huge deal! I was snapping pictures everywhere: family functions, birthday parties, and taking hundreds of self-pics.  It was liberating to snap photographs at will, and then delete the one’s you didn’t want.

(… when did this turn into a photography blog?)

I’ve gone through a laundry list of camera’s since then.  I’m currently shooting with a Sony RX100 and it is an amazing camera.  I can take the thing anywhere.   I especially enjoy taking photos on weekend adventures with my wife.  I kind of hid my photography passion when we first met.  But, oh, when we got married, she never realized every weekend adventure and night out on the town was going to be documented.  She’s like “Put the camera away.  We’re having dinner.”  Haha.  It’s funny.  But, when we get back home after a weekend adventure, we both enjoy seeing the pictures.

(…ummm, preschool, male teachers… remember?)

I’m saving up to get a decent DSLR and – with enough money and my wife’s permission – I’ll go out and get one.  I’m considering Nikons, Canons and Sonys.  Although most of my cameras have been Canons, I’m starting to lean toward a Nikon.  And I’m really enjoying my current Sony.

Yeh, photography is fun… really fun…whew, sorry.  Got off on a tangent.  Okay, let’s get to the point…

Moral of the Story: Teachers need to balance their personal and professional lives.

Teachers can burn out.  I see it all the time.  I’ve burned out many times.  From experience, I can tell you how important to have balance in your life; a balance between personal life and professional life.

Personally, my wife, family and friends are my priority.  When all is said and done, they come first.  They are my driving force.  They are my life.

I know what it’s like to burn out. Despite a large reserve of drive and dedication, weeks and weeks of work will take its toll.  You’ll see a drop in your performance and work quality.  Night after night of little sleep will slowly strain your mind and body.  It isn’t fair to my students if I come into the classroom exhausted and tired.  And, it isn’t fair to my wife and family to show up to family functions half awake and barely social.

Working relentlessly – being tired and exhausted – isn’t fair to anyone.  I constantly have to find balance: personal and professional, family and preschool, rest and service.  Taking time for yourself is necessary and – when you give yourself some rest and relaxation – you’ll find you come back to your professional life reenergized, revitalized, and ready to hit ground running.

Spend time with loved ones.  Get a hobby.  Go watch a movie.  Take some time for yourself.

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