I am, by nature, a solitary person. Most people would not suspect this, because I make an effort to be not just polite, but friendly. But when I get home from school, I am perfectly content to spend the evening (or an entire weekend) surfing the web, watching TV, listening to music, reading books, and doing household chores.
However, I know that having a good relationship with one's colleagues is important. So I try to stop by and talk to the other teachers in my department at least once during the week - usually during planning. But the thing is, it's really hard for me, even more so than usual. I've always got this nagging feeling that I ought to be grading, or contacting parents, or looking for resources, or responding to emails, or printing articles or rubrics or graphic organizers, or updating student progress on the network... the list seems endless. Talking to my colleagues is something that feels frivolous -- it's so enjoyable that it must be a waste of time.
On the other hand, there are teachers who are always in someone else's room talking whenever I pass by. I don't understand that at all. Are they really able to get things done with that much time to spare? Am I that inefficient?
This year I haven't done nearly as well with keeping up with this blog, or with staying involved with the English Companion Ning. It doesn't help that the Ning is blocked while I'm at school, which is generally where I am when I'm suddenly hit by something like "hey, I wonder what ideas other teachers have for short stories to pair with Julius Caesar."
I haven't decided if it's because I have more extracurricular activities going on, or because I just don't have as much to say. I hope I'm not burning out.
Image: Norman Rockwell's "Chain of Gossip," 1948