Over the past few months I’ve been trying to find a better balance of work and family and time for myself. I’ve been exercising more and have managed to drop nearly 35 pounds. I’ve signed my daughters up for activities they like and that fit into our busy lives. But gymnastics and swimming and soccer and all the other events that fill the lives of young children take more time than you’d expect. And this year I’m teaching a course I haven’t thought much about in over ten years, so prep for that is certainly much more extensive than for the classes that I’ve been teaching regularly all along.
Also over the past few months, education has very much been in the news. Mostly news that is critical of public education and all of the bad teachers that seem to populate our schools. It’s demoralizing (at best) to live in an atmosphere of such negativity. And frustrating to know that all of the good work that so many of my colleagues do every day with kids is never going to be recognized when it is much easier to point to standardized test scores or listen to what Oprah or Bill Gates have to say about education.
For the past two years I’ve found that blogging was a way for me to clarify my thoughts. I like to share what I do and what I’ve learned. But I also have found myself criticized for being open with my opinions and thoughts on education. Which is to say, I’ve found that taking the time to blog has been a distraction from the immediate business of life. Taking the time to thoughtfully reflect on my practice takes away time from planning my lessons or being with my family. Taking the time to engage with other thoughtful educators means that I have to turn my attention away from other pressing demands.
I want to renew my commitment to blogging and sharing my thoughts, concerns, and ideas about education. I want to. But right now, I have to submit my grades. And plan for the week. And develop goals for the next year. And complete paperwork to seek re-certification. And grade projects. And plan for an observation. So when Oprah and Bill Gates want to take the time to see what it really means to be an educator in a public school today, I’d be more than happy to have them follow me some day. But until then, tempus fugit. And I need to get back to the everyday work of being a teacher.