It has been a crazy year so far with lots of new things in my life: new work at school, new family member, new exercise routines. There have been all sorts of new balls to keep flying successfully in the air. Without realizing it at first, I let my writing slide to the side. I didn’t keep it as a priority, letting other jobs work their way to the forefront. There was a new meeting to add to the schedule or a baby to cuddle or a yoga class to attend. Each was immediate and of clear importance. None of the new activities were frivolous or insignificant, and they gradually took over my writing space.
What I have come to realize, however, is that they took over more than my writing. Without the requirement that I had put on myself to write on a regular basis, I slowly lost the intensity of my vision on my practice. When I knew that I had to write at least once a week, I looked at my teaching and my time in school in a different way. I was reflective every day, seeking for the moments when I was learning, when I saw my students and my practice in new ways. Every day was a time for growth, a time to become better at what I was doing. As I let other jobs take the place of writing here, I slowly lost that focus on my practice. I became less reflective, because I simply didn’t need to be. I did my job each day and let it go, quickly moving on to whatever was the next responsibility.
There will always be more tasks and activities in my life than I can easily do in a day or a week. There will always be more people with whom to interact and for whom to care. I have a rich and full life that fills all of the spaces that are there to be filled, and when I let it, can squeeze out the moments that I need for myself and for my practice. But I need this! I need to stop, claim time for myself, for my own growth and learning. I need to think about who I am as a person and as an educator. I have chosen to spend my life in a place of learning, and if I don’t make the time to learn and grow myself, then I will never be the educator that I want to be.
Learning takes time and space. It takes slowly down to look and to listen. It takes time to identify what went well and what needs changing. None of that, for me anyway, can happen if I don’t slow down, if I don’t require myself to make the time to write. Writing forces me to look and take ownership. I know that I see my students and myself as a teacher better when I am writing, because I stay present in the moment in a deeper way. I take more time to reflect on what has happened. I change my practice and begin to grow into a new person, a new teacher. I don’t expect tomorrow to look like today, because I am going to learn.
So it is back to blogging for me! My apologies to those who follow this blog for the silence. I have learned a lot from it. Of most importance, that I need to avoid it in the future!