Some lessons of the last season and a half:
1. Never take an extra class. Sure, your department may offer one to you. Sure, it might help your colleagues to take it. Sure, overall class sizes will decrease. Sure, your district will probably pay you a little more. Sure, you might think you're man (or wo-) enough to handle it. Nonetheless, don't do it.
2. Never decide to try for National Board Certification in the same year that you take on an extra teaching responsibility. Sure, you can get through it, but only in the sense that you can get through a marathon without training, in the sense that you can survive just about anything. Surviving, of course, ain't living.
3. Never take an extra class and try for National Board Certification if there's any possibility that the number of children in your family might double during the year.
4. You can survive on very little sleep (and catch up 75 seconds at a time at stoplights, too), but, as I said, surviving ain't the same as living. Plus, going without sleep has removed the already-tenuously-attached filter from my mouth, allowing way too many things to be said that shouldn't be said. Not in class, anyway. (I'm proud, though, that earlier today I resisted the urge, when asked whether I considered myself a master of anything (in the context of higher education, for what it's worth), to reply that I'm actually pretty good at putting worms on hooks. To say nothing of crafting stupidly complicated sentences).
The next post shall address #3.