I am a perfectionist and a rule follower. I need to know what is expected of me so that I can work within those parameters. Although I may deviate from some expectations or rules, I agonize over my decisions to do so.
You’re probably thinking: OMG! What a combination! Yes, it’s a lethal combination and causes a lot of anxiety when I let both of these sides of me run amok. Let me tell you, this is not a stress-free way to live!
I aim to do better.
This summer I planned to participate in Teachers Write, 100 words a day of summer writing, #cyberPD and so much more. I signed up for online workshops and book studies. I had it all figured out. I would have so much time at my disposal because it was summer. Oh, and I would also keep working on my theses. I think I forgot that part of the reason teachers have summers off is mostly to relax and, yes, to recharge and learn, but in ways that won’t tire us out even before the first day of school comes around.
Taking time off from anything related to school is a valuable pursuit during the summer.
And, you are probably also thinking: she’s crazy! Yep! And, I wouldn’t disagree. As is to be expected, I didn’t complete any of these projects and despite my usual modus operandi (feeling unaccomplished), I’ve decided to let them all go. I’m not going to retell the same old story of failure I continually tell myself when I miss beloved Twitter chats or I don’t participate in every online conversation, even though I’ve read the book, the article, seen the video, etc. Which brings me to an important awareness: it’s not about all the bells and whistles, sometimes even hoops, that are often part and parcel of online teacher professional learning opportunities that are important, although those infinitely enrich me as a teacher…when I am able to do them. What’s important are the take-aways afforded by these varied experiences and, more importantly I think, it’s about what I create as a result because I’ve noticed that I am doing a lot more consuming than producing and that just doesn’t feel right.
Balance – that’s what I crave. And consistency. And, the pleasurable feelings that come from completion and learning.
It is better to commit to a few online activities. To choose wisely. To stick to those commitments over time than it is to try to do it all at once.
So, my project for the month of August is to figure out which of these virtual events I want to continue to pursue and which I am just going to say no to so that I can produce more writing. Create more ideas. And feel successful and accomplished all at once.
That’s why I’m back to Tuesday slicing.
Let the fun begin.
Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Tuesdays