being a teacher, students, teaching

So I Work on the Weekends

Today is Saturday, the second to last day of my spring break, the day my daughter smiles the biggest, runs the most, and my husband beckons for me to read, relax, live a little.  Instead I go to work.  Mind you I don’t have to, no one told me in my contract that I had hours to fulfill.  No one told me that I better get in there to check on everything, to plan, to prep, to clean.  And yet in I go, blissfully so.  So why do I work on the weekend?

I work on the weekend because there is not enough time in the week.  Of course, there would be plenty of time left over if all I did was teach out of the book and not do any assignments, so perhaps I just have myself to blame.  Perhaps when I decide to plan projects, extensions, and create opportunities for all of my kids to learn, I need more time.  Perhaps when I decide that teaching straight from the book just is not going to cut it, then I need more time.  I am not mad, or angry at the time I spend fore I know that I will get results back from the time invested.  So I work on the weekends because my students deserve it.

I work on the weekends because it is quiet.  I don’t turn on the music, the lights and I shut the door and let my thoughts roam.  I practice, I reflect, and I tinker with what I am going to teach.  I do this uninterrupted by students, coworkers, phone calls, needs for hugs, requests for lunch, mini meetings, or friendship counseling.   I relish the quiet as my thoughts paint pictures of the results I want to have in the coming week.

I work on the weekends because it makes me a better teacher.  By coming in, spending the time, and thinking once again about what I intend to do, I grow.  I question my intent, I question my goals, and I always, always, think about the students.  How do they want to learn about this?  How can I be quiet while my students explore?  How can this become memorable and not just another daily lesson?  So I work on the weekend not by force, but by choice, because I choose to attain greatness as a teacher so that my students can attain greatness as well.  I work on the weekends because my students deserve whatever extra time I can put in, they deserve that extra attention, they deserve the best.  So I work on the weekends.

13 thoughts on “So I Work on the Weekends”

  1. I work on the weekends too, and I completely understand why you do as well. You're a wonderful teacher that I feel fortunate to learn from thanks to Twitter. Thank YOU for working on the weekends and doing all you do for students and for the rest of us in your PLN!Aviva

  2. You sound like a marvellous teacher! Teachers have so little quiet space in their lives to reflect and plan. However, please make sure that this isn't to the detriment of your family life. I have seen too many really top teachers burn out or lose their marriages by trying too hard. We have weekends for a reason. I know most teachers work at weekends but I always say to them that your family must always come first along with your own mental health. Just take a little of that reflection time to think about yourself as well as your students. We need good teachers like you but we also need good teachers to have a balanced,well-rounded life. Congratulations on your dedication – your kids must love you for it.

  3. Isn't it amazing how many hours we log on the weekend to strive to be the best teacher we can be. Yes, I too work on the weekends, sometimes a little too much. But, I love the feeling at the end of planning, connecting, and collaborating when I know that the coming week is going to be awesome for my 4th graders. I also do professional development on the weekends. I attend webinars and virtual conferences. I read blogs and tweets that help me grow as an educator. I work on my graduate courses too. Yes, I too work on the weekends.

  4. I work on the weekends too and always have. if we want to give our best we need the additional time to do it. This week was Spring Break and I was at school every day to complete a grant except one because I had to take my husband to his doctor's appointment. Thank you for all of you do for every fortunate child who has been, is, and will be a member of your class for they are experiencing something very special. Also, thank you for being part of my PLN, I am honored.JoAnn

  5. You have the passion for teaching and want to give it all you have. Your students are so very very lucky. But it is important to spend time with family too. (My husband could write and he would say- sure work on the weekend but make sure you give special time to your family and friends. It is important to have life apart from teaching.The number of teacher's who don't do this is apparently legion. Our children grow up incredibly quickly- our daughter is at university but it seems moments ago that she was starting primary school. In two blinks they are making their own way in the world.)My husband is an ex teacher so he understands the ridiculous hours we work. I think to flourish in teaching you need to work long hours but make sure you save time for yourself, your family and your special friends.It is great that you love your work and you will be making a difference out there for your students. It IS great to have the opportunity to do that.Oona

  6. I'm reading this as a break from working on the weekend! I'm fortunate enough to have a supportive family. They deserve a lot of credit as well. I wouldn't be as good at my job if they weren't so understanding. – Beth Redford

  7. Thank you everyone, I am continuously amazed at the caliber of the company I keep. Trust me, there is a very good balance in my life at the moment, my family wouldn't let me get away with this otherwise. As teachers we can only be as strong as the life we lead, so yes, balance is so very important.

  8. Pernille,You state over and over that you work on the weekends for your kids, but I would argue that you work on the weekends because you are an artist. You are a passionate and creative educator. You work on the weekends because you have to, because your soul compels you to. A question: what tools do you use in your reflections and planning? I use a lot of scratch paper and notebooks, but I'm always looking for new methods.Have a great weekend,Erin

  9. You and I both work weekends, nights and probably early mornings for the mear pleasure of seeing lightbulbs come on over our students' heads. Preschoolers to high school seniors, kids all have that same look on their face when they finally "get" it, and that my friend is why we do what we do year after year.

  10. Erin, I mostly reflect through my blog, I have many unwritten posts that will never see the light of day because they are jumbled, unclear, or just not good enough. I also reflect through daydreaming which sounds nuts but often I just need to think the thoughts and then let them drift, that usually sparks some sort of project. Thank you for your incredibly kind words, you are a real asset to me as well.

  11. Your students are lucky to have you. It sounds like all of your work is centered on what will be best for them. I can't imagine possibly being good at my job without working on the weekends. I get so much done in the quiet of my building on a Saturday, and it affords me the ability to take my time and be more thoughtful than I can be throughout the busy week. Thanks for posting this!

  12. As a father to a six-month old baby boy, my work on the weekends has been put off until the evenings when he goes to sleep. I try to spend as many waking hours as possible with him. Still, on a Saturday night, I'm working, planning, reflecting, and developing. I don't know how you could do this job without putting in time on the weekends.

  13. I have had this open in my browser since you posed it…and am finally getting the opportunity to read your post. Your dedication, and weekend work, make your classroom a more magnificent place for your students. Many great teachers work on weekends, on sick days, on evenings after the kiddos are in bed, over vacations. We must also remember to rest, replenish our energy, re-energize our spirit. Your PLN offers support for both!

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