Expectations of common core, teacher evaluation, and what it means to be literate in the 21st century can sometimes pile up and overwhelm me. There is so much new information coming at me — things to consider about text types, what opinion writing looks like with primary students, how to use technology as a tool for student learning, how to help students collaborate and interact with one another, as well as with others across the globe, flipped classrooms — the list can go on and on. In addition, my growing list of tasks keeps me hopping. I’m moving from a primary classroom to a meeting with administrators to a meeting with coaches to a secondary classroom to a planning meeting with a grade level to leading professional development. And then there’s the next day.
I’m sure I’m not alone.
If I’m not careful, I can spend all of my time going and none of my time reflecting. When all I do is go — running from one thing to the next — then it is easy to get caught by blinders. I’m racing from task to task, and my eyes are only able to see the things to do.
A side effect to all of this rushing is I stop trusting myself. I begin to questions every. little. thing. I wonder if I’m leading the “right” lesson, if my conferring is “right,” if my plans for professional development are “right,” if my understanding of common core is “right.” This is exhausting.
And not fun.
Even more detrimental is I become less effective. When my energy is being drained by trying to keep up, I’m hard pressed to find time to reflect. If I’m not reflecting, then I’m not learning. When I stop learning, I stop growing. I suffer professionally.
Our work is too important to suffer. After all, we’re not making gadgets, we’re creating futures.
So in the midst of the hurry-up, I’m choosing to slow down. This is the only way I’ll regain the trust I need in myself. I’m reflecting. I’m thinking about what kids can do. I’m imagining ways to help them do remarkable things as readers and writers.
And I’m going to keep writing myself. Even when I’m too busy, I’ll keep putting words on the page and learning to trust myself.
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.