Archery season is finally over. It’s always a bittersweet ending because I’m happy to finally get my life back, but I already miss it like crazy.
I have the same feeling towards the upcoming end of school. I’m prepping/planning/reviewing for our state assessments, while thinking, “GAH – I need to remember to do this thing activity again next year…” and “NOOOOPE. This idea is going in the ‘burn’ pile because it was a hot mess and a half.” So there will be a lot of reflection and pre-planning for next year while this year comes to a close.
Most days, I know I’m in the right spot. Teaching middle school is THE BEST. I have amazing colleagues and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive administrator. Most days are like most of those arrows – TENS. But there’s always that one screwup that brings me back to reality. And even though it’s an outlier, I can’t seem to let go of that one. I sometimes forget to celebrate the other times I get it right. If you know me, you understand how incredibly hypocritical this is because I’m constantly telling most of my colleagues and friends (and students) to let go of that one bad thing. You can’t fix it, you can’t change it, and obsessing about that one failure will not do anything to make it any better. I tell my archers, “Forget the last arrow. Only the next one counts.”
I think to do that, I need to make some changes.
One of the first changes is changing blog hosting sites. Blogger was NOT a good fit for my old/cranky a.d.d. brain. I’m hoping WordPress and I can have a smoother relationship, although there will be some issues as I work out the kinks with transferring posts from my old blog. Be patient and tell me if you see anything that’s wonky.
The second change is that I have to blog more. When I tell my colleagues that they need to blog the awesome in their classroom, they “kindly” remind me that I’m not practicing what I preach. Truth hurts, but they’re right. I have a lot of things I want to try next year, and many might blow up in my face. And that’s ok. We can’t expect students to take risks if we’re not willing to do the same, and that means putting those train wrecks out there for everyone to see. I used to do that A LOT – all the time, in fact. I’m old, you guys – I’ve been around the Twitterverse for a LONG time (this blog goes back to ’08!). I know why I stopped, but I’m not sure that’s a conversation that I’m ready to have in print yet. Might make a decent Ignite talk one day… Who knows.
The third change will be in a month or so as it will be my first summer off in four years. I need to plan something amazing with my kid and leave my phone off for a while. I need to remember how to read fiction without any guilt. I need to remember how to swim. I need to re-re-re-organize my office so that it’s a place of zen insted of dread. I need to try to find a hobby that uses my strengths (and I should probably figure out what those strengths are because I seriously don’t know). And I should probably relearn how to cook.
And I need to make more time and opportunities to reconnect with people and be the support system for them like I once was. I’m going to see many of you this summer, but I also need to be more mindful to reach out randomly the way I did in the past. Whether that’s a visit, a phone call, an email, a text, or a DM, there are many of you on my mind and my heart daily, but I’ve failed to let you know. However, the #MTBoS has brought me friendships stronger than I ever thought possible, and I miss that feeling of being ‘connected’. I admit that I disconnected by choice for a while, but I think we all have to step back and reevaluate now and again.
…As with most of my posts, I’m not sure where I was going with that…
*sigh* I’m getting old.
I have some posts in the works about 8th grade, planning, INB’s, PLC’s, statistics, conferences, and tech. I have some ideas, but I have way more “wonders”. None of my posts are going to revolutionize math, math ed, #MTBoS, NCTM, middle school, or life in general. And I think some people new to collaborating through blogs and social media (and some of us who have been around for a while) feel like they don’t/won’t matter unless they can make their mark in one of those areas. But I’m going to give myself the same advice I would give them: don’t write for anyone else – write for yourself. Use your blog as a place of reflection and share the good with the bad. Some of my favorite blog posts this year have been from people I’ve never seen around Twitter (so I had to stalk them, mwhah hah hah), and that’s a good thing.
So in the spirit of that thought, I’m going to go back to blogging the way I car dance: everyone is looking at me like I’m weird and obnoxious, but I really don’t care.
I’m going to stop worrying about the blog post or classroom idea that didn’t hit the mark, and make sure the next one counts.