Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Delicate Balance

I had a very forgettable day at school yesterday. Somehow everything seemed to be falling apart in school. Our classes which are otherwise the more disciplined ones were have their off days.I discovered some students who were leaders in the class had chosen to be dishonest. Some others had chosen to not show respect to their team members and some even to their teachers. I was mighty upset at how I realized progress in the classroom was just a delusion I was living in. And in my frustration, I did end up showing my anger to my kids.

I came back home. I decided against calling parents of kids who I had chastised for an update and give myself time to process information with clarity. I chose to take the evening off. Thankfully, my friend was here from Delhi. I did speak a lot with her about the state of things. While our conversations were not necessarily restricted to the classroom, I could connect back a lot of what we spoke back to my students.

Both of us decided to watch Queen the next morning and headed straight for the movie after breakfast. While the movie left me feeling very optimistic, throughout the auto ride from the theatre, I kept thinking about the amount of work there was left in the class and how I have let procrastination get the better of me in the last two months.

I could give many reasons for procrastinating - physical and emotional fatigue, excessive socializing due to planned and mostly unplanned visits by friends, rework due to the lack of understanding of where the kids were academically and more than the usual household commitments. All these reasons are justified, considering it is as important to sustain myself and my social life as it is to be committed and persevere towards excellence. But in the struggle to balance both my own well being and my professional goals, I favoured my personal wellbeing more  in the last 3 months than my professional goals, which I have always chosen otherwise.

Did I do something wrong? Definitely, no. Did I have an alternative? Probably, yes. Did I make time to find the alternative? No, I just tried working harder and that had a contrary effect on my own health. What am I going to do about it now? I will make up for it by executing a supremely well planned strategy for my time with the kids post summers.

I have always looked into the mirror more than I look through the magnifying glass. I have always been hard on myself. I took a break from being that for the first time in many years. While it lasted, it did feel good. However, mediocrity leaves a bad aftertaste.

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