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Monday, July 09, 2018

You Can't Do It All

As I consider my weakest point as an educator which is that I get upset from time to time, I realize that this weakness mostly comes from the exhaustion and stress of trying to fit it all in. With multiple leaders, a curriculum that equals about two to three times the time-on-task in school, and a history of wanting to do my best and fulfill expectations, the reality is that you can't do it all.

This is why I plan and replan--I try to fit as much in as I can in the best ways that I can, but the truth is that I try to fit too much in and I don't make time to let students flow enough at their own pace. I also don't make time for the needed conversations that help students and colleagues move from one idea, action, and event to another. Not dissimilar to my tangental. quick, and leaping mind, I do the same with students and colleagues too. Yes, some leap with me, and generally those are the students who write me letters later on thanking me for allowing them to leap with creativity and personality during the learning day, but there are others, I'm sure, who don't write because leaping isn't as comfortable as a more measured approach to learning, new ideas, and creativity. We all have our preferred ways of being, and when teaching you have to realize that your preferred way only matches some of your students while you need to be sensitive, accepting, and encouraging of the many ways to move through life in pursuit of one's dreams, goals, and ambitions.

So during this glorious day of thought and introspection, I recognize that in the year ahead, I simply can't plan too much and I have to slow down as I meet the most important priorities of my teaching, priorities that put students' needs and interests first, the expected program second, and the creativity and new ideas third. I'm looking forward to this more measured approach that gives me time to hone my skill and develop my craft in ways that matter.