Each summer, before the school year starts, I try to dedicate a focus for the school year. My first years teaching, my focus tended to be a bit more superficial; organizing units, creating resource guides for my students, making sure that my resources were in line with the curriculum. My early years were very focused on learning to relay content.
Two years ago, my focus turned outside of the classroom. Being a teacher is far more than imparting information to knowledge hungry students. A teacher is a mentor, a confidant and a guide. My focus that year was to ingrain myself into the school community and say "yes" to every opportunity.
This year, my focus will be on balance. My joke each year to my friends as the school year starts is that I will become a phantom again for 10 months because I get so absorbed into the school year that I forget that I am a human being with human wants, needs, hobbies and hunger pains. This year, I will not make that well meaning joke because this year I will focus on not losing myself to my work. I will find a place where I can be a teacher and a person at the same time.