Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I never knew that Christmas break would come this quickly and that it would be this necessary. It feels good to be on break. There's just one problem. How does one go from 100mph to 0mph? If you know the answer to that question please let me know. In college it was always just a sprint at the end of the semester. Not only was it a sprint but it was a short sprint. Being a school teacher is like running a very long marathon. Let's hope you don't pull a hamstring in the first mile of the marathon because you have 25.2 miles left and you HAVE to finish. After teaching for close to five months I have so much respect for most teachers everywhere. Side note: I said I respect "most" teachers. That is because there are teachers out there (this should come as no surprise) that don't give a damn about their jobs.

Well, I'm trying to slow down to 0mph but it's difficult. What does a first year elementary teacher do over Christmas break? I think I have a lot of various goals for myself over break just like most people. One of my goals is to plan a lot! I know that only a few hours over break can save multiple hours during the second semester. Teach For America has appropriately taught me that vision precedes action and I'm trying to realize that vision now. What is it my students need most? What is going to be the best use of my time in the short time I have left with my students? Thus far, I have sketched out a schedule (I like to call it a roadmap) for what I'm teaching and when for next semester. I have mapped out key points for every single math lesson I'll teach second semester. I still have a few more things to figure out but will do them in the coming days. Getting ahead invigorates me. Anybody that knew me in college knew that I was that nerd writing a paper months in advance. Well, my personality hasn't changed. If I can work ahead (without hurting my students) I will. There are obviously some things one cannot plan right now. That's okay though. I'll control right now what I can control.

Another goal is to revitalize myself spiritually. Things aren't negative in my spiritual walk but faith and working out ones salvation can always be strengthened. I want to spend time reflecting on what my relationship with God looked like the past semester and setting goals for what I want it to look like next semester. Identifying the pro's and con's of my spirituality and focusing on what really matters. Hopefully this break can show me a glimpse of a better spirituality. I hope to learn more about myself and how to lose more of myself.

I apologize, that last paragraph was really vague and sounded uber spiritual. What I want to do over break is to pray more, read more, and think critically about what I want to accomplish spiritually over the coming months. I want to critically look back and see what God taught me and what he is continuing to teach me about where I am in this stage of life. For example, God has been showing me a lot about what it means to become completely reliant upon him and abide in him FULLY throughout my day. I want to examine that more and not only figure out why God is teaching me this but figure out how to make it more of a reality in my life. Sorry, still kind of a vague paragraph.

Lastly, I want rest. I want to feel fresh going into the last 5 months. I want my kids to get the best Mr. Schaefer possible. If anybody reading has talked to me about education and Teach For America you can tell that I'm passionate about what I'm doing and I want to keep it that way. If I refocus myself spiritually and have a great game plan going into the second semester it's no doubt that I'll be able to have a better and more healthy rest.

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