August often finds me feeling overwhelmed with the task of starting back to school. I love my job, and I love the work that it requires of me, but in August, summer has taken control of my life. I am rested and calm. I am making my own choices about what to do each day, with little or no influence from anyone else. I am reading when I want to, going for walks or out to lunch. The days have a gentle pace that is far removed from the energy and demands of the school year.
August brings an ever-increasing drum roll, as the weeks pass quickly by. I often feel unsure about how I will be able to return to completing all of the tasks that I do during each school day. The balls that I know I will soon be juggling are all on the ground, having spent a restful summer with no movement. But now, they all need to get back into the air. I have to remember which one needs focusing on and make sure that it gets the attention it needs without dropping all of the other ones. Reds and greens, blues and yellows, all flashing before my eyes! It feels more than a little daunting!
But this morning, through the power of my PLN and with Facebook as a tool, the energy and excitement of my work began to flow again, erasing the trepidation and replacing it with joy and a new sense of power. First, I saw a posting from @aleaness about using a New York Times article, that was originally posted by Chris Lehmann, as a writing prompt. She was going to make a model for her students, using a photograph of herself. She thanked @doremiGirl for ideas about adding music to the activity. I wrote asking how she was going to do it, and @doremiGirl responded that I could have a YouTube link or QR code, or they could make a movie and narrate over the music. The ideas were great, but it was the sharing with other passionate educators that changed the day. I was no longer alone, preparing for a classroom where I worked in isolation, behind a closed door. I was reminded that I am part of a global team of educators, who support and encourage each other, sharing ideas and new ways of thinking.
While it takes time to share and connect with other teachers, I remembered this morning that it is in fact the life-blood of my teaching practice. I remembered that I am not alone, trying to get all of my juggling balls back in the air, but instead, I am part of an army of teachers, getting ready to give all that we can to bring a joy in learning and a sense of achievement to all of our students. We are picking up the tasks of our job together and supporting each other’s efforts!
September can be daunting, but it is far less so when I listen and learn from other educators. Then it is simply the time when I return to doing what I love, surrounded by others who love it as well. So thank you to all of my Passionate Learning Network! Together, we will have another awesome year! I look forward to the work we will do together and to the ways that we will change the lives of our students!
I too felt that energy today when Yoon jumped in and shared about how she would use the music. Of course we have to give Chris Lehmann props for sharing the link. It is so much more fun to learn and plan with passionate educators. I am getting excited about the new school year! I can’t wait to meet my new students. Keep on sharing all your great ideas!
Updated it to add Chris! Thanks for the reminder. Good luck with the start of the year!
I can’t agree more! I love learning from you, Ann, and other inspiring teachers in our PLN. This morning was like magic – one tweet after another and commenting on FB, we were all creating our own projects listening to ideas from one another. I am sure these projects will look and feel different once we have finished it with our students. I can’t wait to see them all. Let’s write a part 2 to this post!
Have a fantast year, Hadley!