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Losing It
by Stephanie Blackburn

Stephanie Blackburn is working toward National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist.

February 16, 2004

Peers, colleagues, and family members have stayed at arm's length. The phone has not rung. No one has stopped by my classroom to chat, and people have been reluctant to even ask how things were going. For the past two weeks, I have been working16 hours a day -- 16 hours each day revising and finalizing my entries, on a mission to complete everything. I met with writing professors to help me make revisions. I called colleagues and brainstormed ideas to put in my reflection. How can I make everything better?

Finally, at midnight on Sunday, before rolling into bed, I made my final to-do list. I'd knew I'd never be able to sleep if I didn't prioritize what needed to be done on Monday to get the box out Wednesday morning. Only fifteen more things to do! I could finish this. More copies, forms, student work...consumed my thoughts. Every minute of my last two days was planned for.

Then, as I walked down the hall on Monday morning, in a matter of ten seconds, twelve more things were added to my list. I wasn't going to make my deadline. The box wouldn't get to New Jersey in time. I couldn't believe my procrastination! I officially lost it; tears rolled down my face. The light in the tunnel had suddenly gone out.

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Meet Stephanie Blackburn

Stephanie Blackburn, one of Education World's 2002-2003 teacher diarists, received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Rhode Island in May 1994. For the first two years of her teaching career, Stephanie worked as an enrichment specialist in the talent development program for the Westerly, Rhode Island, school district. For the past seven years, she has taught fourth grade at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly. Stephanie was awarded a 2002 National Educator Award by the Milken Family Foundation, in a program that provides recognizes elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education.

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