Have you ever heard the analogy of rubber and glass balls?
The analogy of rubber and glass balls can be used to describe the importance of balancing your work as a teacher.
Imagine that you have several balls of different materials that you need to juggle, with each ball representing a different aspect of your work as a teacher.
For example, a glass ball might represent your students' academic progress, while a rubber ball might represent your administrative tasks, such as sending emails.
The key difference between the two types of balls is that a glass ball is fragile and can easily break if dropped, while a rubber ball can bounce back if it falls to the ground.
In this analogy, it is important to recognize that some aspects of your work as a teacher are more fragile and important than others.
Being able to discern the difference between rubber and glass balls can help you make decisions during the day and rank what you need to prioritize to get by.
Just as you would prioritize juggling the glass balls carefully to prevent them from breaking, you need to prioritize the aspects of your work that are most critical to your students' success, such as lesson planning and student engagement.
At the same time, it is important to recognize that some tasks, like administrative duties, can be more forgiving if they are not done perfectly. These tasks are more like the rubber balls that can bounce back if dropped, so it is important to balance them with the more fragile aspects of your work.
Think about what tasks you can do imperfectly. For example, do you need to upload as many pictures to Class Dojo? Can you do less?
Do you need to redecorate for every theme/ holiday? Or can you do less? In most cases, you can do less.
By keeping this analogy in mind, you can prioritize your work as a teacher in a way that allows you to effectively juggle the different aspects of your job without dropping any balls.
But what if it feels like all the balls are glass?
If your environment and expectations have reached a level where it feels like they are all glass, that is a red flag.
If you are expected to treat everything like it is the highest priority, you will never be “good enough” in the eyes of your administration, and you are not in a supportive workplace.