For the first time in a long time this past weekend, I got a book out of the library for me, not just the kids. It helped that the kids weren’t with me, so I wasn’t playing the please-be-quiet-and-stop-running-around game. However, I didn’t start reading the book until the night following the last day of the ignition 13 unconference (in an effort to stop my mind from running a million miles an hour – something it’s still doing nearly a week later!), and what should fall out of the book but a small bookmark a past reader had left in it, with the quote:
‘Lord, strengthen my faith to depend on Your perfect timing for my life’.
Now, as previously mentioned, I am not a religious person at all, but I strongly believe in karma, signs and making meaning out of things (to a degree, given my training as a sceptical scientist!)… this was followed up a day later with a very inspiring conversation with fellow TCol-now-teacher buddies, and also that I followed the advice offered at ignition to finally join up with twitter (something I had been avoiding due to already stretched-thin ‘free’ moments – really no such thing as free moments when working fulltime with 2 preschoolers!).
This combination of factors, in particular being exposed to the progressive education world within twitter that I had no idea whatsoever about – oh what I have been missing out on; the passionate and inspiring teachers from all around the world, and the daily motivation and evidence-based practice that so many NZ teachers are sharing – I could kick myself for missing 2 years of it! Anyway, these things made me realise that the timing of these things was important. I had a chance to go to ignition 12, but the timing ;) had not worked out, but also prior to this year, I was pretty satisfied treading water and problem-solving, and just managing and coping with the demands of 2 young kids and family and commuting and working (close to) full-time. I was not in the right headspace to start stargazing and thinking about my teaching practice on a much larger scale. As was said at ignition 13:
improving/tweaking your practice is not enough; you need to transform your classrooms.
From a professional point of view, I am ready for that, but now I am wondering how do I sustain that goal, when next term resumes, and life gets back to normal, and I don’t have the blue-skies inspirational people to listen to every day? I’ve broken it down into what my overall goals and ideals are, what my current contexts are, and what strategies and goal-setting I can use to help me stay on track, and have a ‘bias towards action’ as was suggested at ignition 13.