You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.
A few weeks ago, a good friend, (and colleague), mentioned to me that she had FOMO. To be honest with you, I was not familiar with that acronym and neither was my nineteen year old son. I actually had to google it, (not the first time, not the last, I am certain). Fear of missing out.
Now, she was relating this to the feeling of being relatively new to Twitter. I remember once, when I first began my love affair with Twitter several years ago, that someone said it was like “learning to drink from a firehose”. How true this is. What an AMAZING learning opportunity. A PLN that spans the globe. A chance to be a fly on the wall in the classrooms and learning spaces of everyone you follow. Wow. And, to be honest, it is EASY to walk away feeling like you are not doing enough, trying enough, incorporating enough, etc., into your own classroom.
I am a life long learner. My husband, many years ago, affectionately labeled me a “LERD”. Not REALLY an acronym … but … an absolutely fitting description of me. I am a learning nerd. I probably shouldn’t admit this publicly, but I begin each day over a bowl of porridge … and … TWITTER. You don’t need to know how I end my day. I am sure you can guess.
Luckily, I am pretty good at prioritizing. Age, I guess, has taught me that. That, and teaching for over thirty years. But, I get it. I completely understand FOMO. It took me a long time to learn to pick and choose my own personalized learning adventures. Don’t get me wrong. I read the most amazing links, daily, and frequently think, “wow, I’d love to try that with my students” or “gosh … I’ve got to pick that book up for some deeper professional reading on this topic”.
But, all these things don’t keep me awake at night. I am moving forward. I am not the teacher I was when I first began. That is growth in the right direction.
What keeps me up at night? My students. (Well, that … and my OWN kids … sometimes!!!) What am I thinking about? The list is long.
- Be the kind of teacher you would want for your OWN children.
- Meet your students where they’re at and PERSONALIZE their learning.
- Build relationships of trust and respect.
- Student A needs extra support with reading/writing/math/confidence … are you giving them everything they need?
- Create a learning environment that is engaging, FUN … yes … I said fun … but at the SAME time … ugh … RIGOROUS, (yes, I said the “R” word).
- Help them LOVE learning.
I worry that I’m not giving them enough. That I’m not giving each of them everything they need AND deserve. How can I help student A while I’m working with student B, or C or D? Am I letting anyone fall through the cracks? (One of my WORST fears.) Sometimes it feels like there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything I need and WANT to do for my young learners.
Sometimes the expectations are daunting.
Whose expectations ARE they?
Well, they’re … MINE.
Sometimes I can be my OWN worst enemy! For now and, I suspect, always, I practice. Practice mindfulness … and … acceptance that I do my personal best, each and EVERY day to be the kind of teacher my students deserve. The kind of teacher I would have wanted for my OWN children.
That the birds of worry and care fly over you head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.
I am working hard to prevent bird’s nest in my hair! Now … bedhead? I can’t promise that!
- How do you manage to shut your brain off in the wee hours of the morning, when your head is filled with thoughts about how to be the best for the students in your care?
- How do you measure up against your own worst enemy – you?