[It's been way too long since I've posted.  The answer as to why is included in the following.]

Perhaps it’s just the upcoming holiday craziness and the need for a break in general, but I feel like everything is getter the better of me right now. I can not make a dent on the pile of papers on my desk, and it’s been way too long since I collected them. My lesson planning is growing thin; I feel more often like I’m surviving than teaching. Add Forensics season starting, graduation details already being worked out, committees and curriculum work, and…well, we all know the drill.

More importantly, I have a (very patient) wife who has to deal with my pre-occupied state of mind, and two boys (six and three) who need a dad. I am to the point where I feel guilty playing with them because I have too much grading to do, and I feel guilty grading or doing any school work because I need to spend time with them. I can’t remember the last time I read a book, played a game (digital or otherwise) or sat and watched a movie or show without feeling guilty that I wasn’t chipping away at the piles.

Add to that the myriad of tools that I haven’t even had time to explore. I finally figured Skype out, but now need to look at Yugma. I’ve recorded a few things that could feasibly work as rough podcasts, but need to explore the publishing end of that. I’m comfortable with many of the Google tools, but haven’t tried Notebook or KML in Google Maps and Earth. Just when I figure out Twitter, everyone is moving to Pownce. Some of the other programs that I haven’t really used yet–VoiceThread, for example–are as embarrassing to admit to as an English teacher confessing that he hasn’t read Moby Dick, East of Eden, or Tom Sawyer (and no, I haven’t).

Now, believe it or not, this is not a whiny rant of self-pity (though it is a good start to one.) It IS a catalyst for something that I feel is going to happen. I’m just not sure what that is. Or when it will happen. Or how.

I never thought I could see myself leaving the classroom, yet now I wonder if that is where I’m heading. Not out of education, but into a different role. I would still like to work directly with students, but I am enjoying my growing role in the workshops that I’ve been able to run in my district. Is that where I’m heading? Technology Integration Specialist? Library Media Specialist? Teaching pre-service teachers? Will this mean more certification and courses? A move to another district? Too many possibilities…

It doesn’t help that a number of ed tech professionals that I follow on my Twitter network are also switching jobs: one went from English teacher to tech coordinator, one from ed tech and school design consultant back into the English classroom. Another quit his tech coordinator position at an international school in China, another moved from tech into curriculum. But moving makes me nervous, too, with another adoption (from China, coincidentally) in the works.

And then, I bounce back to the other side again. Can I really keep juggling all the bowling pins of being an English teacher, then add another child into our already crazy household? Mentally, how much longer can I split my energies between the demands of parenthood and the overwhelming paper load? Couldn’t I make a much greater impact on the quality and relevance of education in my district by assisting my colleagues in teaching their 21st Century learners than just my classroom of students?

Or am I just hoping to rid myself of the burden of grading papers?

Obviously, this part of the story is just beginning…