This time of the year is tough. School is coming to an end and so much is going on! Recently, I have been beating myself up about not writing a blog post in awhile. Today I had a moment to stop and take a step back. I realized that I've been a little preoccupied. The fifth grade musical was last week and yesterday the "behind the scenes" video about the musical came out on Facebook. I took some time to watch the video and it was a great summary of our work for the last 4 months. It's been busy! The musical consumes much of my work life and even much of my home life. The kids and I have a great time together working towards their final performance. It is very satisfying to see kids up on the stage or behind the stage shining and doing their part in the musical. So, when I watched the video, I was able to really stop and take in what we did. After watching and reflecting, I told myself it's OKAY if reading, tweeting, reflecting and networking sits on the back burner for a little bit.
The other day I was knitting and thought about baby steps. Partly because I was literally make baby booties but partly for another reason. I was on my third attempt to finger knit baby booties and I finally had success! As I stared at the baby booties, I told myself, "baby steps". There is NO way I could have made these booties when I first started. I looked back at the pattern and realized it was an advanced pattern. Advanced....me??? Then I thought about how long I have been knitting and realized I have been knitting for a year and a half. I started with pot holders that had missed stitches and were either too big or too small. Then I moved to making scarves. Over time I have tried a variety of different yarn sizes and styles to find just the right look. It took many trials and errors but I'm good at it now. Never once did I get on myself to work faster or harder on my knitting. Don't get me wrong, I pushed myself to try new things but I gave myself breaks and I let myself fail without guilt or negative self talk.
Still, why am I so hard on myself as a teacher? Why do I expect big results in my teaching in a short amount of time? After watching the video about the musical, I realized that I need to take baby steps. Yes, when I have time, I should write and reflect on this blog. Reading and tweeting what I am thinking is time well spent and when I have time to pick up a book and share my thinking on Twitter, I will. Making connections and reflecting on instruction in the classroom is vital. However, I can't realistically expect huge projects and results from myself in a short amount of time. Even if I somehow was able to do that, I wouldn't be taking the time to review the process and make meaningful decisions and reflections. So, baby steps is the plan. Failures are going to happen. Time is needed to experiment, wonder and tinker. Multiple attempts will bring progress and success over time. With baby steps, I will continue to grow as a teacher.