Twitter did it’s thing! I hopped on Twitter and started this blog at roughly the same time. Part of it came from a place of recognizing that no one is ever going to know or understand what I do in the classroom unless I actively talk publicly about what I do! I think the meritocracy myth was embedded so deeply within myself (as it is for much of us who teach) that I figured my “work will speak for itself” and recognition would come when it was earned. The reality, however, was that no one aside from my students was really ever in my classroom. My work, my learning, my successes all stayed within the four walls that I make home for 173 days per year.
So I started networking on Twitter and I started a blog. Then something amazing happened. I felt like a new teacher all over again. There were so many ideas to try, books to read, questions to consider it was nearly a firehose! For a while I lurked because of major imposter syndrome, but then I started to get comfortable with my place. Over the years my network has grown and I’ve been able to actually interact with a lot of folks at events and conferences.
One of those folks is Nicole Murawski. She recently shifted from the classroom to Arbor and hasn’t looked back. She’s loving what she’s doing and has found the right balance for her life. She messaged me a few weeks ago to share that in a conversation with some of the folks there, she dropped my name.
I’ll be honest I had so much apprehension and I didn’t respond to her message for a bit. When I finally did that lead to the phone call with Arbor (more apprehension) and then another conversation with their marketing department. On the first call they asked if I had any ideas in mind. I was honest. I was burnt out so, no. I didn’t. This is why I was so apprehensive. I’m not one to be a constant fountain of ideas. When the come, they come in full force, but I just don’t come up with stuff on the fly. (Enter hating questions like “what’s your favorite” “if you could ____ anything, what would it be” and all related ice breakers)
Within a week I received an email that they wanted to do a “lifestyle” post about ways teachers can develop over the summer. As soon as I read the email I had an outline for a post in my brain within five minutes. I sent the pitch back and had a two-week deadline to write the story.
The article was posted yesterday and went out on the Cool Stuff mailing list! Check out a snippet below and read the rest on Arbor!
As the school year winds down and summer approaches I inevitably find myself more excited about next year than what I need to plan next week. While students are in a flurry studying for AP exams and final exams, I have the rare gift of time to begin to wind down and decompress a bit. Cognitive science tells us that creativity flows when we allow ourselves to get bored. Perhaps proctoring state exams at the end of the school year comes at just the right time for us as we edge towards the burnout of another completed school year. Once the freedom of summer arrives, finding the right balance of boredom, rest and curiosity makes for the perfect cocktail for the months ahead. Here are four ways you can find that balance, rejuvenate your mind and refresh the joy in your craft. (read the rest!)