Post 3: Trying to keep up with “time” when time is a struggle.

I’ve struggled with the concept of time my whole life. I struggle to get anywhere on time. I underestimate how long everything will take me. It takes me forever to say something aloud that I think will take me a few seconds.

Priority was a foreign word.

Related, I’ve always had trouble prioritizing. Everything. For majority of my life, that was never an issue. If I needed to get x, y, and z done, I’d get it done within milliseconds of their ultimate due time. Writing an undergraduate honors thesis? Done (research done two weeks before due date, written in 3-4 days). If I had to do a, b, and c things together no matter how intense, I would and I could. Taking a 3-day intensive weekend Islamic course the same week as mid-terms? Done. Help curating a photo gallery which required traveling 1.5 hours (one way) weekly for 2 months during my undergrad years and spending a bunch of hours learning how to use GIMP to photo edit while “studying” for Calc Honors, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Math? Done. All-nighters were my life because I decided all duties related to being VP of MSA, no matter how minute, trumped all classes. Sahar never said no to anything. “Sahar could you…?” Yes. Almost always. People asked because I never said no and I knew I would get it done. Everything. Without much compromise.

I got things done. I did them well. So there was no urgency for me to get my ish together.

That changed three years ago, when I started teaching. The inability to juggle everything thrown at me, inability to plan and execute my lessons in the best manner (as I was used to doing everything else in my life), and the inability to say no hit me all too hard. So much stress and anxiety manifested physiologically. My adult acne was at its all time worse and I had stress induced acid reflex and ended up going on meds to put both under control.

multitasking multitask multi-tasking
I wasn’t naive per se. I went through 5 years of undergrad/grad education, 3ish years of student teaching, so I thought I knew what to expect going into teaching. I also knew to expect the unexpected. Countless of teacher friends and mentors told me: you won’t truly understand what teaching is until you’re a teacher.

yes seinfeld true kramer correct
#truth
So now 3 years later, time, pacing, getting things done, and being an organized teacher are daily struggles. I’ve learned ways to cope and have grown somewhat. I’ve had to change my mindset about somethings. Perhaps if I have time, I’ll write about that later…

Ms. K’s Korner

My name is Sahar Khatri and I’m a first year math teacher with fears, anxieties, hopes, and a whole load of excitement.  I teach 6th grade math in a new middle school in the Bronx. 

I’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as I could remember–well except for one summer when I wanted to be an interior designer (which I owe to watching HGTV each second I was awake. Thank you DesignStar!). I’ve had remarkable teachers throughout my life and before I even went to college, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  Now years of undergrad + grad school + student teaching + tutoring … here I am.

This currently paints a true picture of my energy by the end of the week, but even then…I love what I do.

 

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Here are a few things that I love about my job:

  •  I love walking into work every (well let’s be real…”mostly every“) morning and spending the first 25 minutes of my day with my advisory students. Particularly I love using the “Connection Protocol” with them.  
  • I love that even on the crappiest days I can list about three good things that have happened. The good things are usually remarks, shenanigans, and at times the brilliance of my students.
  • Call me crazy, but I do love my sixth graders. They’re constantly on an emotional roller coaster, but I think that’s what makes them well…middle schoolers.
  • Teamwork/Collaboration:  We’re a small school AND a new school, so I’m sure that’s a factor. There’s so much to do and so few of us. Regardless, I love the people that I work with because each day I see how hard everyone is working together….and it shows in the consistency of how we teach, speak, and manage our students.
  • Our math department rocks! Our math department consists of four teachers + our math coach.  Call me biased, but I love the work that we’re doing and the things we are choosing to focus on. More about that in my next post :D! 
  • It’s hard, but I love that I co-teach all three of my math sections.  

Exploring the MathBlogsphere

These next few days I’ll be exploring the mathtwitterblogosphere, which I was introduced to by none other than Sam Shah after attending a new-teacher-boot camp/PD (led by @pispeak) with him over the summer.

One of my goals this year (besides eating on time and sleeping at a decent hour) is improving my questioning skills in the classroom so that I can give one or two concise questions that my students will explore with the overarching goal of creating a student-centric classroom.

Ambitious much? Hell freakin’ yes! 

Clearly I have much to learn and I can’t wait to explore what is out there!