For the last few weeks I have been pushed to reflect, reflect, reflect…make my learning visible…share my learning. So here is the nitty gritty of being a teacher and the things I am pondering right now. I wanted to reflect a little on the Professional Day last Friday.
Earlier this year I wrote about trying to find focus. This past Friday I did something a little different for pro-d. Usually I go to a conference and learn new things. This one I stayed at my own school.
My intention was to work on fine tuning my Daily 5 Pensive, write some blog posts about Daily 5 (which everyone has been bugging me to do), put together some resources for the teachers on staff who have been wanting to get started with Kidblog, work on my Weebly class webpage so that my teaching partner can access and post blog posts about our class, spend some time on my Innovative Learning Designs grant project and get together with my wonderful Principal and nail down some details for our Identity Day. A lot, I know. Too much.
Besides meeting with Carrie, I had planned to spend the whole day quietly at my desk working and maybe check in with a few colleagues over lunch. Over the course of a week, my dream Pro-d changed completely. You see, I have gotten into a bad habit of saying yes more than I say no. The problem is that I am constantly putting my work last and what ends up happening is I spend those precious hours from when my kids go to bed until when I finally crash, working on my own work. I am slowly running myself into the ground.
I am finding that being connected is a difficult balance. Right now I am finding this new way of teaching and learning making life harder, not easier-but the problem is that it is so much better than what I was doing before so I just can’t give it up. My own learning curve has been steep, and when I see colleagues with that excitement wanting to change and try new things, I can’t say no. I feel partly responsible for this wonderful innovation tsunami that is building on our staff because of the Pro-D I pushed for in the summer, and with that privilege comes the responsibility to support others.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy helping. Its like teaching my own students -when they get that “aha” moment, there is nothing better in the world. I want to support colleagues, but am being pulled apart, “Diana, can you help me…” “Diana, I was wondering if you could show me…” I want to help, so I do. And then little pieces of my day just disappear.
So, meanwhile…the things that I want to do, ILD project, collaborating with my teaching partner and grade three team are drifting along, getting the little pieces of me that are left. My friends wait patiently for me to come back to them.
Last week I participated in the Leadership 2.0 series with Chris Smeaton (@cdsmeation) presenting and there was some really honest conversation about finding balance. Then main thing that stuck with me are the words, “balance has to be your balance” and “ultimately if you’re happy and the people you love are happy”. Am I happy? Are the people around me happy? Where is that balance?
I need to find a new way of doing things. Very soon I have an amazing young woman coming to do her 2-week practicum with me and I need to be mentally and emotionally available to support and encourage her. Something has to change, and quickly…I just don’t know what.