School started in earnest for me on Friday, and I’ve felt a little dispirited. On the one hand, I have learned so much this summer that I am enthused and eager about implementing. But the tasks at hand right now aren’t necessarily those that will even get me there, but things I have to get done. It’s reminded me of feelings reflected in a post that Chris Lehmann wrote about his own sense of disconnection as he started inservice.)
I’ve been aware that I’ve felt somewhat muddled the last week or so, but have learned in my semi-old age to be patient, because usually the muddle clears up and my thinking gels if I can give it time. (Wish we could always do that for our students.)
I turned to my Bloglines account this morning for a little renewal, having not been doing much reading for the last week, and as I so often do, found inspiration, support, and creative thinking there that spur me on as we enter a couple of weeks of software training, and inservice.
Doug Johnson describes his use of Stephen Covey’s time management matrix and how it can be used administratively, and it struck me while reading his post that part of why I feel stressed and overwhelmed is that almost all the tasks I am charged with during the next week are in Quadrant IV. But most of these are required, imperative(personal items) or imposed, which is crowding out the time for my own goals and mission. So his post made me realize that before I get completely caught up in the rush, I need to carve out a little time for reflection. (Maybe this is that time!)
I browsed over to the always inspiring LeaderTalk to reread a post I saw there a few days ago, regarding motivation and inservice, and as always found five more posts that were motivating and thought-provoking.
Tracy Rosen reminds me in her post “Motivation and change: Values and Passion” that motivation must be intrinsic for our students (and our staff), and asks, “What is it about teaching that touches your soul?”
An excellent question this time of year, and the one I most need to focus on.
Kelly Christopherson from one of my favorite blogs, Educational Discourse, writes an insightful post about beginning of the year “motivational workshops”, (something I struggle with a little and conversed with him about, I admit ;)) and asks “What motivates you?” He writes about teacher motivation, what sorts of inservices could be provided to do that, and whether teachers need motivating in traditional ways in the first place. Very interesting piece.
And after reading through these three posts, I realize that I have to be able to bring my motivation even to these tasks that seem tangential to my real passion–I need to bring my full self and full creativity to bear on them so that they all become opportunities, because as Tracy writes, “Values and passion are powerful stuff.”
I want to be able to take that “powerful stuff” into our school community every day.
Thanks to my colleagues from afar for the clarity and motivation this morning. It is the network of professional support, this network that doesn’t even know it is there some mornings, that is enriching what I do so much, and I am very thankful for that.