Type A Personality…

I got a lot done last week, over the weekend and today. And, as I sit down to write this I still have this feeling that I should be doing something more, something else, just something that will make me appear as productive and proactive as I am told that I am.

You see, I’m a worrier and tend to be Type A personality – if you read into those sorts of things. I’m not talking about horoscopes because I believe those are utter tripe but I sometimes like to play around with online personality tests. (I’m aware that they aren’t necessarily accurate but they are fun.)

According to much of the information I have read some things that Type A Personalities do are as follows:

  • Time is important – Type A personalities hate wasting time or having their time wasted.
  • They can become overly passionate about something
  • Very prone to stressing (worrying about everything and anything.)
  • Trouble sleeping because their mind is always racing.
  • They are highly efficient.
  • Their career is at the front and centre.
  • They walk fast and with a purpose.
  • Love solving problems
  • There are many lists – task lists, to do lists etc.

This, by no means, is the entire list. I will include some links down the bottom for your reading pleasure.

I look at lists like this and realise that my friends are right – I am Type A. It’s not a bad thing and it’s not necessarily the most accurate thing out there but I do identify with many of the traits and it does help me when I try to rationalise when I’m feeling overly stressed or struggling not to worry about something. All of this relates back to my job as a High School Teacher. Knowing and being aware of my tendencies will help me prepare for any nervous or stressed moments.

I also redid my Briggs Myer Personality test and I got INFJ again. Every damn time. I enjoy reading about the traits but always take them with a grain of salt. Humans are much more complex that we allow ourselves to believe. That being said, I did identify with many of the traits listed. The strengths and weaknesses struck a particular chord – and match rather well with my Type A personality.

My weaknesses, in particular, were interesting. According to this one my main weaknesses are that I am :

  • extremely private
  • sensitive
  • perfectionist
  • always need to have a cause
  • can burn out easily.

These are true for me. All of them. This often surprises people because many think or believe me to be quite extroverted but I’m not. My alone time is incredibly important to me and needed every day. My routines are part of my way to cope with being in a bustling job. I mention this because teaching is not an easy job – especially for introverted people. Add to that the statistics stating that most new teachers are leaving before they reach 5 years. It’s not the best profession to be an introvert.

I’m in my fifth year…but I’m still enjoying it. As long as I get time to myself to recharge.

Anyway, what is your personality type? Are you more laid back than myself? Let me know if you believe in all this.

Read more in this great Huffington Post article. Or this Elite Daily article.

Enjoy your week.

XJaime

Back To School…First Day Nerves

It’s the first day back at school tomorrow. (Well, it’s a Teacher’s Only Day, but it still counts.) And, just like every year, I am a bundle of nerves and anxiety. I feel as if there is so much I need to get done and I haven’t even stood in front of my classes yet.

Logically, I know that it’s going to be fine but I still get those nerves. I also get them at the end of every break that I have. Random bursts of negative thinking seem to loom and I have to reassure myself that I am good at my job and I am doing my best.

So, I thought I would write a post where I outline what I do to help calm my nerves and go over my ‘self care’ plan for this year. Also, I’m not a doctor nor a medical professional – remember to always seek medical advice if you are worried. One thing I have been struggling to learn is that you are the most important person in your life. If you aren’t well then you can’t do or be your best in front of that class…

Sunday/Day Before School

  1. I prepare my outfits for the week. I’m that kind of organised person. I set out 5 days of clothes – normally all on one hanger – so I don’t have to worry about what I have to wear. (This takes me about 5-10 minutes because I wear a combination of dress/tights/cardigan etc – it works for me).
  2. I listen to music and dance around my living room. The act of moving (and sometimes singing) does wonders for my nerves.
  3. I have a pinterest board with positive quotes and other motivational things to help me feel more positive.
  4. If I’m really feeling antsy I’ll have a hot shower or bath in the evening.
  5. I drink tea – normally chamomile if I don’t think I’m going to sleep well.
  6. Then, while drinking the tea, I’ll watch some Netflix or read before turning in for an early night.

you-are-important

Image Sourced From Here

My Self Care Plan

Those who know me know that I work hard. If you believe in those personality type tests etc I am a INFJ and Type A personality. I take my work very seriously and give more of myself than I probably should so this year I am trying to put into place some plans to ensure that I look after myself a little more than I have done in the past.

I feel a little guilty even thinking about putting myself first for some strange reason but that is part of the ‘fixed mindset’ (to use educational terms) that I want to move away from. So, I plan to attempt the following in order to make sure I’m the best me that I can be…

  1. Leave before 4 at least twice a week. (Though this might not always be possible but it is a starting point.)
  2. Use my non-contact time extremely efficiently.
  3. Learn to say no a little more confidently.
  4. I have scheduled in movie/tv nights with friends once a week.
  5. Exercise regularly. I walk to school but I want to add more onto that as well.
  6. Meditate frequently.
  7. Try not to take too much work home – and try to keep my weekends to myself.

Obviously this list is a work in progress and I will have lapses but I am focused on making this year really positive and rolling with the punches, so to say, more readily.

So, fellow teachers and friends, what are your self care tips? What do you do to calm yourself? Feel free to leave a comment below with ideas or advice.

Peace and Pancakes

XJaime

P.S. I’m going to move my CURRENTLY listing to another day. I want to regularly update this blog so I want to have scheduled days for things. 🙂

Things I’m Looking Forward To: SDCC2016

I’m going to San Diego Comic Con again. Well, I’ve known that I was going since the end of last year as I had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get online to get in line. For those of you who have never gone through the “hell” of purchasing tickets you basically get sent a link that you have to open at a certain time and then you get shuffled into a waiting room where you are subjected to the 7th level of Hell in the form of the blue circle of fate/doom.

I managed to get tickets for four days and preview night. (First time I’ve ever managed Preview Night!) Then I managed to score some amazingly priced plane tickets direct from little old New Zealand to LAX. Although SDCC isn’t until July I am already feeling the excitement and the stress of it. (Good stress not bad stress.) Accomodation is next on the list but I was fortunate enough to have met two amazing people* in line back in 2012 when I attended SDCC for the first time and we’re going to share costs. This makes the adventure so much more fun and exciting.

I love going overseas and I love attending conventions like this even though large crowds scare the crap out of me. There is something about being in a city where, really, no one really knows you and you are surrounded by thousands of people who share the same likes as you. The enthusiasm and copious amounts of caffeine make it a fun time. Then there are the panels and the lines – so many lines and the merchandise. Graphic novels are hard to come by in New Zealand – for reasonable prices that is. So, whenever I go to SDCC I stock up on as much as possible.

There is also the fact that I can get resources for my classroom, not to mention great ideas for texts to teach and study. Plus, it gives me serious nerd cred with a lot of my students. Especially when they learn that I game…the boys never believe me until I list some of the games that I’ve played and then I have to give details to prove it…

Anyway, this post is part of a little series that I am experimenting with – basically things I’m looking forward to. The next post will probably be about films that I’m excited to see…

Feel free to recommend post topics because I have no real clue as to where this thing is going…It’s an adventure.

Currently Watching: The 100. I just finished series one on Netflix last night and I’m keen to start on series two. I love the gritty feel and the plot twists. It’s basically a cross between Lord of the Flies and Battle Royale and maybe a smidge of The Hunger Games thrown in for good measure.

Currently Reading: I just finished Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green. It’s a 509 page graphic novel which shows how the author developed and then overcame (not really the right word…maybe learned to control) not only disordered eating but abuse and severe anxiety. It’s a heartbreaking but beautiful read that I truly recommend.

Currently Listening: In November last year my drabble challenge was Ipod Shuffle. I finally got around to making a playlist from that.

A Drabble A Day November 2015

*Actually I’ve met many amazing people in line but you don’t always meet up with them again and again

Peace and Pancakes

xJaime

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year – It’s 2016…I’m 33 and a handful of change. I’m a teacher currently on summer break who has been trying, desperately, to catch up on the latest reads, the latest music and even the latest games…(that I can play on a PS3 – still saving for that upgrade to a PS4). I’m also battling the heat of summer of which, I am not a fan. Give me autumn any day. I just despise sitting/walking/existing in weather so hot and humid that I feel like I’m sweating from every available pore. (You’re welcome for that mental image, by the way.)

As I sit here, finishing off my second coffee of the morning and listening to 80s Hair Metal, I’m thinking back over the last year and what I have planned for this year. I’m not really a resolution person because I think that you can choose any point in your year, month, week or day to make a decision to change. However, there are some things that I am working on changing in my life:

  1. Improving my self confidence in tiny little steps. (#bodypositive right…)
  2. Read more.
  3. Relax more often.
  4. Simplify. (Yeah I’m not good with the simplifying part but I promise I’ll try.)
  5. Say yes a little more…not for everything but being a bit more open will help with numbers 1 and 3 on my list. Right?

Five simple little things.

I’m also doing my second year of A Drabble A Day over on my tumblr:

A Miscellany of Drabbles

Last year I was challenged to write a drabble a day – exactly 100 words, no more no less, and, aside from a little hiccup in July, I did just that and now I’m heading into year two. Each month I have a different theme and it’s been a lot of fun.

And finally a quick list of a couple of things that I am enjoying or finding useful this month.

Current obsession: Passion Planner – I ordered one last year and found it really good but didn’t use it to it’s fullest potential. This year I downloaded a copy and will order a new one for next year. It’s actually really nice and easy to use. And it taps into the creative side of me – which is always good.

Currently reading: Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor. Based on the popular podcast of the same name I’m finding it an interesting, albeit, confusing read.

Current earworm: Hamilton The Musical soundtrack. I was trying to avoid falling in love with another musical but a friend made me listen and now I’m hooked.

Current game: Alice The Madness Returns – it was on sale on the PS store.

Peace and Pancakes and a very Happy New Year to you all.

Five Thoughts – A Quick Post

Thought One – Teaching is emotionally draining. When I started teaching I didn’t realise how emotionally exhausted I would feel after everyday. So many things occur in a classroom and the act of being a teacher it very tricky. Plus, today was a rough day so I need to reflect on it.

Thought Two – I am now living by myself. This is a good thing and I am enjoying the freedom of being in my own space and being my own person.

Thought Three – I really need to get my life sorted. I mean dividing my time more equally between teacher me and actual me. They are two distinct people I feel and one is getting more time than the other…

Thought Four – I really need to get a new vacuum cleaner as my old one isn’t cutting it. (This thought came to me as I glanced at my carpet…which has seen better days…)

Thought Five – I am going to San Diego Comic Con and I am really super excited about this and am trying to think of costumes. I was thinking Velma from Scooby Doo as I kinda have the glasses and the hair and the body shape. Also, yes this means that I have to fly a long way for a short amount of time. I really don’t mind…cause nerd reasons.

This is a quick post segment which might become regular. Due to various events at my school and in my own life over the last few weeks I haven’t found the time or, more honestly, the energy to blog. I am reminding myself that I am a work in progress. So Five Thoughts might become a regular thing. 

The One Where I Attempt to Justify My Absence…

::*::Dusts off the blog::*::

I do have the best intentions of keeping regular posts on this blog but have found myself rather busy over the last few weeks. This is actually a terrible excuse because I should take the time to blog regularly for many reasons. One of which is that it is a great way to reflect on what I have been doing with my time and to share my thoughts on teaching.

Teaching is not as easy as people would like to pretend it is. There is a lot of paperwork…often more paperwork than there is actual teaching. And, as those in the profession know, there never appears to be enough time to do everything that needs to be done.

Anyway – as a quick update – Three weeks of term have passed and everything seems to be going as smoothly as it can. The Year 12 class that I have taken over is doing well. They are settled and seem to be adapting to my quirky nature. Thankfully I have taught some of them in previous years so they know my quirks. Our look into the world of Vietnam is going well and they have taken to the novel quite well.

My Year 11s are getting through Catcher in the Rye though they are struggling with the fact that “not a lot happens” in the novel. Plus, they really just want Holden’s hat to just be a hat.

Year 13 – Finished their first internal and have moved onto their second. I keep trying to get them to think outside the triangle and look at the world critically so I will keep you updated on that.

Year 10 – this is a lovely class. We are doing an Independent Novel Study and they have taken to it. Some are reading The Help, one is reading Silence of the Lambs and another is reading Carrie. So I am definitely going to have some interesting essays.

Finally, my Year 9s. This is my very mixed class with some kids on various spectrums. Our look at conflict has been popped on hold for the time being as I start teaching them about essay writing. I am teaching them TEXAS.

Topic Sentence

Example

eXplanation

Analysis

Statement

(For those who hadn’t heard of it before.) So far it’s going slowly but I always say good things take time.

This week, however, I will be away for two days as I get to join my HoD and another teacher from the English department on a field trip to Auckland for the Reader Writer Festival.

That is all for my update today. I will endeavour another update after I get back from the Field Trip.

The One Where I Try To Organise Myself

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The holidays went by rather quickly and, although I did a lot of prep work during the break I still started the term feeling a little lost. Due to situations out of my control I’ve had to have a change of class so I have picked up a new Senior class. I’m not too worried about the change and it’s a relatively small class at 18 students but it’s still a change and, like most students will tell you, they hate change. They get annoyed with me if I change the desks around and they get annoyed with me if I don’t. This does amuse me more than it should and it also gives me some valid insight to the student mindset.

Anyway – I thought I would use this post to help my organisation progress.

I have five classes:

9BYOD – This term our focus is Tumatauenga and, looking deeper, we will focus on conflict – namely human vs human, human vs nature, human vs self and human vs society. We started by reading Ray Bradbury’s short story “All Summer in One Day”. We will then look at poems from WW1 and maybe even some short stories as well.

10ENG – This is an advanced class so we are doing two things at once. We are looking at the same short story as above and the same ideas however I have adapted an Independent Novel Study that has seven activities that they must complete. I have told them that they can choose any novel that has a form of conflict in it. Once student has already asked if he could do Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and I am super excited to see what he does with it.

11ENA – This is my big class with 32 students. We have started looking at a semi thematic unit surrounding Conformity, Rebellion and The Teenage Condition. Carrying on from last terms film unit, where we studied Pleasantville we have dived into Catcher in the Rye. I am creating a prezi that sets up every lesson for the student and it works on them figuring out several key techniques and going through the text closely to find their own understanding. Today we focused just on Holden’s hat… This is on of my focus classes this year.

12ENG – This is my new class and, for this term, we will be studying excerpts from The Things They Carried and looking into the context of the Vietnam War and what was happening in New Zealand and the rest of the world at the same time. I’ve started them on a scrapbooking task that will take a lot of the term – they have to research the context and create a virtual study guide – they can use pinterest, prezi or, if they aren’t computer savvy, they can even make a scrapbook. While doing this they can start framing a research project, do some independent reading for personal responses, building on their general knowledge and, most importantly, learn how to write an analytical essay for the external exams.

Finally I have my 13ENI – this class is my smallest with 16 students of varying abilities. They are not sitting externals so are focusing solely on internal standards. We are finishing up our Close Scene Analysis – this is where I got them to analyse two different crime procedurals and talk about how the represent or misrepresent certain groups in society – most focused on how mental illnesses are represented in the shows. Next we will move onto Connections Across Text.

So there is my general overview for this term.

Next are my goals for this term. If you look at my colleague’s blog here you will see how inspirational her organisation is to me. My other colleague has also done a beautiful piece on goals which you should totally check out as well by clicking right here.

So goals – scary thoughts that I am putting out in the world. Okay, here goes…

Small: Time management – I’m really trying to focus on using my time wisely – in class and out of class.

Medium: Up-skilling both in my curriculum area and my technology skills area.

Large: Still working on this because there are so many that I want to focus on…

My question to you is what do you find helpful when trying to organise yourself? What goals do you have for school or for your personal life?

Peace and Pancakes

Jaime

*I know that this image is from 3 months ago – I just like it…