Monday, May 25, 2020

Recalibration during a pandemic

This pandemic has made all of us recalibrate our lives--we can't live as we did before, and we have to reach inside ourselves daily to get the inspiration and energy to move on to where we hope to go.

I've been reconsidering my blogging lately. In so many ways, my blogs represent my painstaking will to push forward and do better as a mom, family member, teacher, and community member. In a sense, the blog represents a fight between my will and my responsibilities--I want to be responsible and do the right thing, yet too often my will pushes me away from my areas of responsibility as a teacher and parent to a desire to travel, explore, and see the world anew.

So as I recalibrate, I'll acknowledge my need to remain responsible to my commitments because I know that parenting and teaching well sets a strong foundation for me and those around me in those spheres--it's important to do as well as I can as a teacher and mom because that work matters. I'll also acknowledge and examine my desire to travel, explore, and see the world anew--where is this desire coming from and where is it leading me to. I'm curious about that.

Beginning with parenting, the overarching themes are the same including a welcoming home, regular positive communication, investment in shared good times and valuable goals, and taking care of one another. While these goals require time and commitment, there is not much struggle since the love for my family makes this work natural, positive, and steady.

As for school, the work is a bit less clear since there are multiple perspectives to consider and many goals to examine as I prioritize my efforts. In general though, my priorities here relate to the work I do with and for the grade-level team, math/science education, and the signature projects/special events we plan and foster. This focus takes almost all of my education time throughout the school year.

With regard to education, in general, I have been repeatedly telling the story of one teacher's experience of teaching and school for almost ten years now. I have thousands of posts about all kinds of teaching and learning details. My focus has been three-fold including advocacy for what teachers need to teach well, the recognition and importance of teacher voice/leadership, and the details related to specific learning/teaching successes and struggles. In a large part, my writing has been a way to coach myself and others like me forward with regard to teaching well. This process has taught me a lot, bettered my teaching/learning repertoire, and connected me with wonderful educators throughout the world. I hope that it has helped others too. In the days ahead, I want to think about the evolution of this blog including how to reinvent the blog so that it does serve as a relatable reference for educators--a road map for successful teaching and learning.

Future advocacy related to education will include advocacy for the supports to help families and children thrive. Too many families and children lack the supports needed to live good lives--supports such as adequate housing, nutrition, recreation, health care, and safety don't exist for far too many Americans and people across the globe. I am committed to bettering this situation, but now have to think about how my advocacy can result in change for the better--I have to back up my words with thoughtful efforts that do elevate lives. What will I do? This will be a quest in the days ahead and this will be the focus of any community work I do.

Staying responsible and true to my commitments and values related to family, education, and the community provides a strong foundation for living a good life for myself and others. I believe that this is right and good, but what about my hunger to explore, adventure, and see the world anew--what will I do in this regard?

I am hungry to step into the shoes of many to see the world anew both at home and in places away from here. I imagine that this work will begin with simple explorations in nearby towns and cities, and then with volunteer or paid work in organizations near or far that allow me to meet new people, work alongside them, and journey with them. This is the adventure I seek. Many around me will me to follow their paths, but that's not where my mind or heart is leading me. I don't find fault with their choices, but instead recognize their choices as where their lives are leading them--mine is leading me in a different direction, one that is somewhat known as the words above describe and somewhat a mystery too. The mystery propels reflection, research, and exploration which I always look forward too.

Where is the pandemic response leading you? How will you recalibrate as you respond to that call? What will you do to strengthen the foundation of your life? What will you do to reinvent yourself in ways that are true to who you are? These are great questions to ponder in the days ahead as you move ahead in life despite the struggles the pandemic presents. Onward.