Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Changing Seasons-- Erin--Personal Notes

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and are excited to see what God will do in the New Year!

In order to understand this post, let me give you a glimpse of a month in the life of a high school English teacher. Since the week before Thanksgiving, I have graded 73 short stories, 24 essays on the value of truth, authenticity and kindness in public speaking, 28 research papers on cancer (team-taught with biology), 73 essays on theme in To Kill a Mockingbird, and 28 essays on poetic devices used to support theme in Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night." This is in addition to numerous assignments on vocab, comprehension, grammar, MLA 8 citation, and speeches. And I am not even quite full time.

Now, could I assign less writing? Yes. I struggle to balance best practices with realistic expectations.

Could I plan more carefully and space out when I collect writing assignments? Again, yes. Hopefully next year I will set my calendar better.

However, at this stage I am realizing I am trying to keep too many
balls juggling, and here and there, balls are getting dropped. I haven't written a new page in my WIP since February. My kiddos sort of live on EasyMac, and the other day my oldest daughter came home with 4 boxes of kleenex, delighted with the discovery of a Walgreens across from her bus stop downtown. Apparently using toilet paper to deal with allergies had gotten old.

And, with a huge shout-out to Laurie, sometimes I miss these posts. Laurie has been so gracious about reminding me and filling in for me, but despite valiant efforts to set phone reminders and write notes in every room, my Lands Uncharted posts have also occasionally fallen through the cracks.

I love my job--my students are wonderful and I feel like God has called me to my school on purpose. I also know that when we hold onto things that God is asking us to give up, we are adding stress to ourselves and we are preventing someone else from receiving the blessing God meant for them. So, with sadness, but also a sense of excitement, I am letting you know I will be taking a step back from Lands Uncharted. You will see me again in January, and I will continue to write guest posts from time to time, but I will be giving up my regular spots.

God is already moving someone else into position to take my spot and I can't wait to have the honor of introducing them!!!

In the meantime, prayers for a smooth transition for Lands Uncharted would be welcome, as would prayers for a more manageable work-life balance (with may be a little writing time thrown in) for me.

All of you, our readers, have been a blessing and encouragement to me, so thank you and God bless!



  1. Lovely post, Erin! Thanks for the shout-out - you're very welcome :) It made my head spin just reading the summary of your teaching responsibilities lately! We'll miss you, but I hope stepping down will give you a bit more breathing room and open up a little time for writing!

    1. Thanks, Laurie! It has been a joy to work with you on LU! Many Blessings!

  2. Beautiful post! Your students are lucky to have you!!

  3. Oh Erin, we'll be sad to see you go. After reading through your list of responsibilities, though, it's understandable. I pray God gives you strength, writing time, and an exciting new year!

    1. Thank you so much! I know. . . I am sad, too. But I am confident God will lead and guide me, as well as all of you, in our coming years!
      Thank you!

  4. Wow, Erin. You have been busy. I'm sorry you won't be a regular on Lands Uncharted anymore, and I pray your next year will be balanced, productive, and enjoyable.

  5. Thank you! I am praying all of you will have wonderful years, as well!

  6. It’s hard to wrap my mind around all that you accomplished in that time! Your students are blessed to have such a dedicated and caring teacher. Praying for the balance you seek.

  7. I am so sorry to hear you will not be posting regularly on Lands Uncharted anymore, Erin! Best to you, and keep in touch! <3


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