Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Making a Life #SOL18
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Slice of Life: Making a Life #SOL18

I walked around the classroom listening to students discuss the books they were reading, I spied this quote hanging on the wall:


Never get so busy making a living you forget to make a life.


I had to have these words. I had to write them down.  I knew they were speaking to me.

In our profession, I think it is so easy to lose sight of these words.  When you love what you do and what you do is so meaningful, it can become your life.  I could work twenty-four seven and feel completely fulfilled.  There is so much I want to learn, so many books to read, and only so many hours in the day.

It is important to recognize, however, that work is not our life.  We need to make space for ourselves – our interests, passions, and people outside of the classroom.  This space is what fuels us and sustains us.  Tammy and I made a decision a few years back not to blog on the weekends (March challenge aside).  We also try not to email for work or plan social media events on the weekend.  We want to honor the importance of taking a break.  We want to send a message that being present in your personal life is ok.

For us, it often makes sense to sneak in a few work hours early in the morning on weekends to ease our workload during the week.  Other times we have a project that needs a big chunk of time and the weekend makes the most sense to get it done.  I am not suggesting we shouldn’t work at night or on weekends.  I am suggesting we should plan our time to not work as much as we plan out time to work.  “Don’t work” should be on the to-do list!

I hope you find time to live your life today.

Thank you to StaceyBetsyBethKathleenDebMelanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year.


  • Avatar
    Posted at 12:55h, 18 March Reply

    Thanks for the much needed reminder. I am striving to be all for self care and scheduling time to do nothing.- sometimes hard to do.

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    Samantha Marquardt
    Posted at 12:56h, 18 March Reply

    This is a needed reminder for so many of us! I also try to limit work on the weekends. I use the early morning time sometimes to get some things done, and sometimes, I do need to spend time on the weekends for projects that need to get done. For the most part, though, weekends are for home. Sounds like you have your priorities right!

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    Beth Hopkins
    Posted at 12:57h, 18 March Reply

    So true! Planning time not to work is just as important as planning our work time. Thanks for the reminder at this busy time of year.

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    Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 13:01h, 18 March Reply

    Yep. It’s hard to balance it all when you really do enjoy your work. I’m signing off now to go pack up a care bag for my girl who returns to college today–I know, I know–that’ll get you started. Thanks for the reminder to step away from the writing and reading and focus on being a mom.

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    Diane Esolen Dougherty
    Posted at 13:01h, 18 March Reply

    Yes, yes, yes! Planning “Don’t work” time is important. The first year I retired I wore myself out, accepting every job offered to me. Every weekend was filled with planning, reading, preparing. It took a stern talking to from my husband to set me straight. You are so wise.

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    Elisabeth Ellington
    Posted at 15:45h, 18 March Reply

    This is such an important post! I think it’s very hard to have that separation and create that space for other interests when so much of what you would choose to do anyway (read and write and talk about reading and writing!) is part of your work. One thing I’ve introduced this year is having a book going that isn’t for work, isn’t children’s lit or YA, isn’t something I’d ever have much reason to book talk in class. It’s nice to focus a bit on a reading life that isn’t just for work.

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    Carol Varsalona
    Posted at 15:59h, 18 March Reply

    Clare, you advice came just at the right time, when I am faced with so many tasks and deadlines. Life is important that is why I did not feel guilty going out last night and celebrating with friends.

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    Rose Cappelli
    Posted at 18:58h, 18 March Reply

    Such good advice, Clare. Thanks for the important reminder.

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    Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 19:30h, 18 March Reply

    Your post reminded me that when Dave and I made our weekend to do list on Saturday morning at the top of the list he would ALWAYS write “play.”
    We need to rest at some point in weekends!

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    Susan Kennedy
    Posted at 21:19h, 18 March Reply

    Our teacher bags make too many trips. That’s something I’m really working on, being present wherever I am. Present at school and when I leave there, sometimes late(ish),present at home.

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    Ashley Tice
    Posted at 23:45h, 18 March Reply


    Your slice is so on point!

    I have a lot of guilt because I am spending most of my time working, both at work during the day and at home at night. My family needs to come first, especially after my day of being away from them in a classroom.

    Thank you for sharing this. I, too, have copied the quotation down for a much-needed reminder.

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    Kendra Limback
    Posted at 00:42h, 19 March Reply

    This is so important! I’ve been outlining a slice on self-care, only from the perspective of a middle-aged girl trying to make a life! 🙂 This is such good advice for educators especially. Thanks for sharing.

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    Posted at 00:42h, 19 March Reply

    Life / Work
    Must do / Should Do
    Over scheduled / Under Familied
    It’s hard!

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    Whitney Karp
    Posted at 01:38h, 19 March Reply

    What a great quote. So many of the teachers that I know should have this prominently placed as a reminder. I love the suggestion that we need to treat weekends as more important sources of downtime and not just as a place where we can get still more work done. I am going to try to practice scheduling “don’t work” into my life much more.

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    Shannon Taggart
    Posted at 02:39h, 19 March Reply

    This quote is SO IMPORTANT!

    I am so grateful that the last two schools that I have worked in, allow us and encourage us to ensure that we have time for our own lives. They put our mental health first! It is so important!

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