“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” ~ E.M. Forster
In September 2013, I made the move from teaching secondary, to grade 6. I knew it would be a big change, but I had NO idea.
Journaling, and discussing my experiences with my collegues have always been the only two things that help me when this profession gets tough. That September, crying in the car on the way home for the third time in a week, I knew I had to do one or the other, or both, and FAST.
Fortunately, I had (have) some beloved friends, who are also colleagues, who had recently made The Move as well. They were happy to meet, to listen, to commiserate, to share, and to encourage. We decided to start a group blog to do two things we love to do: writing and sharing, with the hope of encouraging others who might be in the same boat.
Just because we are a year and a half late getting around to it, doesn't mean we aren't still passionate about the idea!!
For me, writing has always worked like a magic wand in my professional life. When I hit a wall, I "wave the wand*:" I take some minutes to reflect/free write, on paper. I consciously enter into a dialogue with myself, asking questions (ie: exactly what am I upset about? what do I want? what is going on with x in the classroom? what am I seeing? what am I afraid of?), and offering possible answers. In this way, I can name my fears and goals rather than just letting worry swirl around in my head when I'm trying to sleep. Writing changes stress and "self-laceration," as Stephen Brookfield calls it, into invaluable Reflection. It may be PDP 101, but for me, it's empowering. The only problem is, I don't do it often enough.
So, my interest in this blog comes from a place of selfishness; I want a space where I can figure things out through the process of writing. I am hoping that working on it in collaboration with colleagues I admire will make me accountable for making journaling a more regular part of my practice. The online/public aspect is all about vulnerability, but that's a whole other post! I'm excited to give this a shot...finally!
*this metaphor is making me laugh... our cat's name is Wanda, regularly referred to as The Wand, and I am picturing picking her up and moving her back and forth through the air in the living room, after a bad day, hoping for some kind of inspiration.