There are people on this staff who are mountain climbers. They see a mountain of a challenge and bounce a few times on the balls of their feet, then spring into action. They seem to scramble almost effortlessly to the top. I am not a mountain climber. I see that mountain, feel the weight of it looming over me and decide taking a nap at its base is a much better idea. :)
But when I wake up, I realize the mountain is still there. And I must tackle it. So today as I'm talking to myself possibly more than to anyone reading this, I'm thinking about baby steps. Awkward, staggering, funny little steps that we know will grow stronger but sure do feel silly right now.
Mountains currently in my path include NWEA testing, Data teams, homework issues, an array of acronyms (MTSS, LRE, RTI, PBIS. DOK), a cat who thinks breakfast is at 2:00 a.m. and a cut on my finger that hurt so badly it made me vomit. I want to fix every one of these issues right now. (Mostly the finger because it is hard to type with a Band aid.) I want to be on the mountaintop, arms raised in victory, feeling the breeze on my skin.
But I'm just here. I must remember to take some awkward, drunken-looking baby steps. I feel like I have taken a whole bunch of those already and I should be loping over things like a gazelle, but the world is reminding me that things take time.
So, I'm forging ahead with baby steps. See you at the top!
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.”
I don't think I'm alone in noticing an awful lot of frustration around school lately. Yes, there is always frustration at work, but things are almost tangible right now, yes?
In my new role as instructional coach, I have felt a lot of frustration in my responsibilities, but I chose that. I expected it.
What I am troubled by is what I feel around me from teachers that I KNOW are very good and extremely dedicated to what they do. I have seen furrowed brows, clenched jaws and tears this week. I have seen hands thrown up in surrender and heard sighs of defeat. This is truly not who we are as a school. I've been around here long enough to know.
I do not claim to have all the answers but I would like to share with you my plan for coping. It is no surprise that it is in bright yellow up above: Focus on what you can control.
In education especially, there are so many dictates that determine what we do, from when we can use the bathroom to how to administer tests. We cannot control most of this. It exists. Period. We have some level of control through our roles in committees and our political choices but those things impact slow-moving change.
What can we control right now? What can we do at this moment to take charge of our day? There is a short list above, and yes, some of you may roll your eyes at it, but it is true. If we can focus on those things that we can make an immediate impact on, things will get a little bit better. Let's stop wearing ourselves out over things we cannot change and focus on things we can.
Below there are some links to ways to set a good tone for your day, either personally or educationally. If you get 3 minutes to yourself (and you don't need them to go to the bathroom!) maybe click one and have a look. Maybe there will be one little nugget that will change the day - or at least the next moment.
PS - I am building a page about homework at KV. I'm trying to gather strategies that work for people HERE, not in some research world far away. If you have things to add, email me or invite me to come visit; I'd love to see you!
I am a high school teacher in Wheatfield, Indiana, trying to reach out to my kids in a way that works for them.