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Trusting Myself

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.

12 thoughts on “Trusting Myself

  1. I’m currently studying to become a secondary level English teacher and I was wondering about the issue of common core standards. What do you think these new standards are going to do in the long run? This applies to both students and teachers. Also, what do you think can be done to change the more restricting or damaging aspects of these standards?


  2. Wow! I just said to my principal, “Every time I feel that I am getting a handle on things…something else comes along and knocks my feet out from under me.” It is only when I slow down and take the time to watch and evaluate what is going on in my classroom, do I feel like a competent teacher.


  3. My favorite Ruth-line? “A side effect to all of this rushing is I stop trusting myself. I begin to questions every. little. thing.” Yep, I caught myself doing that this week too. Grateful for your nudge toward awareness.


  4. I don’t know how you do it, but realizing that there is more to life than gadgets is your saving grace. Glad you’re slowing down and using your writing as part of the healing–it does that so well! You owe it to yourself, Ruth. I love Christie’s comment to you.


  5. Yes! Slowing down and reflecting is so important. I also am hoping to do just that. The last two days were state test, Friday is science Fair night and then time to just step back and see what is most important as we finish out the year! Thanks for the post.


  6. This is a post written to my heart….I have one along a similar vein that I started…but am too busy to finish…like the job is for 3 people…but I do not ever want to stop the reflection and thinking….yet there are papers and portfolios…and binders too!


  7. You are right. (haha) You must be able to reflect in order to learn. I know this week, in particular, is pretty hectic for you. Whether you are right in your planning, your conferring, or your planning of professional development, know this: you are RIGHT in how you go about what you do. You are RIGHT in that you stay on top of best practices, you ask questions, and you constantly seek new knowledge. I know this to be RIGHT because I see you do it every day. And, by the way, I am pretty honored to be a witness to that. You probably reflect more than you realize….remember, objects in mirror are closer than they appear. love you, my friend!


  8. Right now, it kind of seems like you are doing a job made for 3 people. Slower would be an important word to consider. This time of year can get that way… and you definitely need to reflect. I am kind of trying to rethink my staff dev. after school. Everyone seemed kind of buzzed and winded from the day and then I try to fill in all the empty spaces with ‘my talk’….not good. xo Thanks for being so open


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