There is a saying I've heard many times over the years: If everything's important, nothing's important.
It rings true. It really does. But the problem comes when there are enough things that actually are important that it becomes impossible to accomplish them all.
This started to happen to me when I began teaching.
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Being a first-year teacher is a fresh hell reserved for only the most naïve and masochistic of us.
You've got to have the right combination of drive, stubbornness, and support if you're going to get out of there alive, and there were times when I didn't know if I would.
The learning curve is so steep that there's always a hundred things you don't know and a thousand things you know but suck at actually doing.
And the kids can smell it.
After five years, I thought I had the hang of teaching - and then I moved to a new school at a new grade level and got to be terrible all over again.
Only this time, there were state tests and network-wide initiatives and, well, more things to suck at.
There was the teaching, which happened during the school day, but there was also the lesson planning, which generally happened before and after the school day.
Everything was so important (and being a teacher is so miserable unless you're decent at it) that I spent hours each day trying to get things just right so I could do something other than fall apart when I was actually in front of kids.