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26 December 2013 @ 04:52 pm
Overtime  
I saw a Facebook post recently about how we work on our relationships and that sometimes our relationships need us to work overtime. I jotted down the word "overtime" in y Notes app. It resonated for me in that post, and it resonates for me as I consider what it is I do in my career. My relationship with books and reading requires overtime often. Right now I am winding up my commitment for the Audies Award (information here: http://www.theaudies.com), listening to more than 25 books, most of them well over 6 hours in length. It has meant quite a bit of overtime since I generally listen during my commute to and from places. Instead, I am listening as I work around the house, listening for hours in the afternoon after my other work for the day is completed.

I am also doing some overtime re-reading as I prepare to write a post about the YA winners of the Nerdies. I am fielding some questions from new students who will take classes with me in the Spring during my winter break. Overtime is just necessary sometimes. My BH is understanding. He knows that part of our vacation time will be spent with me working overtime. Thankfully, he is self-sufficient and can head off on some exploring while I do some work.

I know I am not alone here. Here it is the day after Christmas and I saw a post from a colleague who is working on syllabi during the holiday. I know some friends are grading. Some are reading books to share with kids when they return to the classroom. None of them, by the way, are complaining about the overtime. It is something we do, and most of us make it look effortless. But it does take effort.

The time we put in, especially in those overtime hours, means we can provide more for our students: more books, more ideas, more resources. And we do it because putting in the time pays off somehow, some way. It means I can share more books with more readers. And who knows which book might be exactly the right book at this moment? It means I can do some professional writing (working on a new project right now that will be very exciting and rewarding I hope) and some personal writing. I can take time to text and DM and tweet and post updates and keep in touch with all of the colleagues who infuse me with energy and infuse my work with wonder and new ideas, etc.

So, I am happy to work overtime. I am happy to put in the time and the effort. Teaching has never been and never will be an 8-3 M-F job for me. It is my career, my vocation, my passion. Overtime makes it richer.
 
 
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patty1943patty1943 on December 29th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
Most teachers I know put in a lot of overtime! I think you are all wonderful. I love your posts.