As I hang up the phone from talking to the representatives of Kaplan University, I was pretty much taken back at the fact that just a week and a half earlier, I decided to get my masters and was registered and ready to start in just two days. I decided to go for a masters in educational technology with emphasis on web design, the classes would be entirely online, but they were five credit courses that finished every six weeks. For those who don’t know, that’s a lot of work in a little bit of time. The good news was, I’d be done in 14 months.
My timing could have been better, being that I decided all this just a few weeks before my school year started (i’m a teacher), but I figured it would be a year full of support from coworkers, and I wouldn’t be coaching in the fall either….well all that changed very quickly.
The week before school started, professional development was getting started, so I was checking emails and unpacking boxes in my new classroom when I noticed one of our coworkers sent out an email notification that they found a new job in a different district, but it was good for him and the family. I didn’t think much of it, until two days later when I received multiple phone calls about becoming the schools new cross country coach, the job that became vacant at the loss of that employee.
I felt honored, but at the same time, I was starting a teaching year of two subjects I haven’t taught before, and just started my masters,
could I really succeed at all of them at the same time?
Quick answer… Yes, but it didn’t happen without stress induced medical symptoms.
In reflecting on how my life has been from this past September to November, I thought it would be appropriate to blog about how to handle the stress and time commitments of a very busy life, which I know for a fact, I’m not the only one enduring. Everyone has crazy times in their lives at some point, whether it is what I’m going through, or moving, or getting a house, married, child, new job, the list goes on forever! I’m not trying to get sympathy or condolences, just attempting to give some tips and reassurance to those who are in a similar situation or want to pick up the pace of their lives.
So on top of teaching a teaching job from 6:30-2:30, coaching from 2:45-4, house/animal care-taking from 5-6, dinner making from 6-7, I had to dedicate the evening to something more relaxing. I would constantly bring work home to do, but realistically…never got to it, and that’s OKAY.
The busier you are, the better you get at managing your time.
My prep time at work was jam packed with planning for the week ahead, my lunches consisted of either grading or responding to discussion posts for my masters classes, and I would call in the help of parents to come in and do my copying for me. You learn to make-do, and that’s exactly what I did for those months of chaos. The beginnings are always rough and exhausting because you haven’t learned to manage time. There was a time where I had to call a sub to go to urgent care at the end of the school day because I had to be ready to go to a cross country meet to coach after-school. I was suffering symptoms of an ulcer, which, the main cause? Stress. After changing some diet choices and reaching out to others to help lighten the load, the symptoms went away and I know now better ways to handle the coaching season.
Happy ending to the story? I aced all my masters classes since I’ve started, my students have learned what they needed to
learn in the classroom, and cross country was the best coaching experience I’ve had so far and I can’t wait till next season. On top of all this, I’ve kept up with my fitness, enjoyed dinners and movies with my husband, and went on many adventures with my pup and friends. Time management is the key to success, but it was definitely a learning experience to get to where I am today.
After truly dedicating myself to a break for the holidays, I face the second half of the year consisting of masters classes, teaching full time, soccer and cross country conditioning, followed by another very time committing season of coaching high school soccer (plus hosing a cross country race in the spring to fundraise). I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m ready and willing :).
The moral of the story, you live and learn, and sometimes life can be so crazy that you don’t know how to do it all, but you always get by. If you want to further your education, do it! If you want to change careers, do it!
Don’t let intimidation of failure block the pathway of success; you’re stronger than you think!