Largely because of Twitter and my colleagues who make continuous learning look like a sport, I'm always tempted to buy just one more book. I own many books that I have LOVED that are just part way read. These are books that have definitely transformed my thinking and made a positive impact on my practice. I just haven't finished them YET. There are a few that I still want to buy...DESPERATELY. 5 Practices For Orchestrating Productive Math Discussions is at the tip top of my list and has been for well over a year. It was recommended by a math specialist I admire. I know it is good. Many of the math heroes I follow on Twitter are talking about this book too. The last time I went to Amazon to buy it, it was out of stock. I just checked and there are five copies in stock now. Do I buy it? There are at least four books that are likely equally awesome that I already own and are partly read. Still, I am tempted and the $31 price tag is not a deterrent. If my husband knew how much I spend on professional books. UGH!
I know I spend more time on my professional development than many teachers. I know I spend more of my own money on it too. It is not necessarily because I feel I'm THAT terrible (although some days, I do). I just really love learning more about teaching and the content I'm charged with teaching. I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be for my students and for myself. I take pride in my craft. I can't imagine doing this business of teaching any other way.
Still, I get frustrated with not having enough time or money to devote to my learning. I would LOVE to get a master's in teaching math from Mount Holyoke College. I have taken one class in the program and it was AMAZING. The program itself is cost prohibitive for me. I'll begin to pay for college in just three short years (for my two children) and then will likely have college bills for the next six years. This is not my time.
One thing I do need to consider is how to carve out more time for my own learning. I never feel like my life is well balanced. I want to be an engaged mom for my two teenagers. I want to attend their games, meets, and drive them where they'd like to go. I also want to be a good spouse. I want to handle my share of the responsibilities at home that include yard work, house cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, pet care, etc. I want to be fit. I want to make space in my life for exercise. AND I want to finish those freakin' books! Oh, and I'd like some down time to simply relax. (Ha! Thought I'd throw that one into the mix too!) Really, I want to feel good about myself. I hate feeling like I'm mediocre in all things.
Maybe this is normal? Anyone?