If you want to teach me to write, first you have to love me. ~AVI

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Balancing - Slice of Life

Recently, I have been thinking more about balance. As teachers, we strive to maintain balance in the classroom. We provide a variety of learning experiences: mini-lessons, guided practice, independent work, partner activities, projects, etc. For the most part we do a decent job with this type of balance.
How about balancing the hats we wear or the balls we juggle? How do we make time for the people we care about, the activities that help keep us healthy? How do we carve out leisure time, time to read for pleasure, time to feed our creative souls? I am reminded of a quote I used to have on my bulletin board that helped to keep me grounded. I was pretty sure it was from a book I read many years ago, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Paterson. Sure enough after a little digging around on Mr. Patterson’s website, I found the following excerpt:
Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you're keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls— family, health, friends, integrity—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.
Copyright © 2001 by James Patterson
Balance seems to be my personal theme for the school year. How do you maintain balance in your life? Please share your thoughts. If you haven't read Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, I highly recommend it.


  1. That's a fantastic book (and a wonderful quote from Patterson).

    I keep balance in my life by listening to my body. I never used to honor my body when I felt tired and now I do. I try to take cues from myself to help me balance everything I need to do.


  2. Balance at home is easier than balance at work. My key to balance at work is to maintain a tight and narrow focus of what I'm trying to achieve with my students.