Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Man Caves (Dear Katie V1 #13)

Dear Katie,

My fellow David Brearley H.S. Class of ’85 alum, Tony Siragusa (the guy who the weight room was named after at  your high school), has a television show where he and a contractor come in and build a room designed specifically for the man of the house called “Man Caves”.  Until his show premiered, I never knew that was an actual term, but have enjoyed an out of the way place in my house since I got married.  (My current house does not have a Man Cave since those rooms have been taken over by your cousins and I don’t think my basement would be suitable, maybe if I move).

My first man cave was the computer room in our first apartment, an above ground basement of a house.  The house was a 5 minute commute from work, and your aunt used to be annoyed as I walked in the door after a day of teaching, kissed her hello, and retreated to the cave (which was the only room underground so cave was appropriate) for about an hour.  With all the talking of the classroom, the bells to switch classes, the noise of the hallway, I just needed some silence to process and think.

Now a days, I have a mobile man cave.  It is the relaxing 40 minute ride (27 miles of country driving) I have coming home from work.  When I drive to work, I have the radio playing, but more often then not silence on the way home.  As a teacher, I have found this time of silence beneficial for many reasons.

First, it de-stresses me from the events of the day.  I love working with kids, but to keep over 100 under control, working on task, and not annoying each other and me is hard work (and teach a lesson on top of that).  You need time to unwind on frivolous tasks.  Shooting baskets is a great de-streeser for me.

Secondly, and perhaps most important, it is a time to think new things. In order to create new lesson ideas, we need time to think.  As a teacher, I rarely get this time during the day.  Prep periods are filled with grading papers, addressing student concerns, paperwork, etc.  

Every great thing ever built started out as a dream, but you need time to dream.  

Those dreams of how to make my classroom better begin from my man cave.

Katie, as a teacher, never forget to plan time in your day to dream.

Just My Opinion,

Uncle Kevin

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