Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stacey's Charge: Reflection on SOLSC

Stacey, one of the co-sponsors of this SOLSC, has charged us with taking some time for reflection about our experiences so far.  Reflection is a habit that I engage in about my teaching practices and is a habit that I try to cultivate in my students who are studying to be teachers.  I also try to cultivate that habit in my students as readers and writers.  Although Bill Bryson is not writing about teaching in his book, At Home, he writes, "It is always quite thrilling to see yourself looking at a world you know well but have never seen from such an angle before." (p. 1)  In a way that is what the process of reflection allows the writer, teacher, and learner to do.
What has been easy for me is taking the time to write.  If you asked me about this last March, I would have said it would have been the hardest part of this challenge.  Now that I have practiced making time to exercise for the past year adding writing into my routine hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. What I have learned as I have carved workout time and now writing time is that some ways we choose to spend time aren't a meaningful as the ways that you can choose to spend time.  I gave up watching The Mentalist last week with my husband. Instead, he is my first responder to my blog. My first audience.  Different medium. Shared time.  
I've been challenged in this process because I want to find balance, not only in my blog, but in my writing life. I don't want this to just write about teaching. I don't want write about diabetes. I don't want write about just anything.  I want this blog to be meaningful.   
Well, if you know people are reading your blog, you want to write something worth reading and that is not easy to do every day.  That makes writing hard. Also depending on the writing time that I have available, I can't always make the writing work.  I have many starts and topics that I have saved for another day.  I try to make this blog as clean a draft as possible, but it is hard, because this blog is typically just 1st draft writing with me.  I can't always come up with a clincher or a hook, but practice makes perfect. 

Writing this blog has been the first time that I have participated in a virtual writing community. The last time I have been a member of a writing community was during my work in the National Writing Project at the University of Central Florida in the summer of 1997.  I have been astonished by the number of views.  To me that says, my writing matters to someone aside from me.  And although we would like to all say we should rely on intrinsic motivation,  when we get noticed it still makes you feel good when someone does.  I also value the discipline that it takes to write a blog, especially a daily blog, which has forced me to comment on my friends' blogs.  To truly acknowledge, I hear you from miles away.  I don't have the expectation for everyone who reads my blog to comment.  I appreciate the fact that they have taken the time to stop by.  Yet when I have caught someones' eye or made a connection to them, they comment.  That's powerful.  I  also as a late poster often, always try to comment on another late poster's slice.  They too have been busy and have made it a priority to write.  I like to leave my comment so they too know they have made a connection. 
My favorite read for teachers to learn about reflection, now in 2nd edition!
Will I write in this blog daily after the challenge?  I don't know. I have been thinking about how that might look.  For now, I am content to face the challenge and figure it out another day. 


  1. I love the Bill Bryson, At Home quote, I "have never seen [it] from such an angle before." How true on so many levels. The drafting, the noticing what works and what doesn't work. Another thing I love-- that we've found community and writing and both together in this challenge. You matter and so does your writing. I'm lucky to share in it.

  2. Every time I read your blog, my excitement for the challenge in May grows. I think I am ready right now. By the way, everything you write has great meaning for me and it inspires me to grow as a leader. Thanks for helping me grow.


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