2011-2012 school year- my motivation

Today was my first day back at work–I started my day at 5AM working on some web projects that I’m very excited about (I’ll blog about them later this week!)  I even skipped boot camp at the gym to fit in a few extra minutes to fiddle around on the computer before I had to rush off to work.  When I arrived, the entire faculty was in a meeting where the details of our new status as a “turnaround” school were discussed.  Not fun. That’s all I will say about that.  On his blog, Zen Habits, my favorite blogger,  Leo Babauta, wrote a post titled “The Myth of Discipline“, in which he asserts that motivation, not discipline, is what drives us to get things done. This post, along with “Achieving, Without Goals“, helped me define a path of following my passions as opposed to simply meeting arbitrary objectives based on what I “should” be doing. My focus this school year is to do what I love and inspire others with what motivates me.

Going Paperless
I received a grant this year to get 15 iPads. Along with the 15 netbooks I was awarded last year, this is enough devices for me to go one-to-one. However, the arrival date of said iPads seems to be an unsolved mystery at this point, so I’m a little worried about whether my paperless aspirations will come true anytime soon. If each student cannot have a device, I do not know if it’s feasible for me to expect them to complete all their classwork online. That said, I have several computers of my own, so there is no reason why I cannot go paperless in my correspondence with teachers and students. I hate paper! It gets wrinkled, it gets lost, it piles up on and falls off of your desk–I have no desire to push another piece of paper again if I do not have to. I am willing to give others written stuff if they prefer it, but I am soooo not collecting any more paper from anyone. I will ask for a digital copy or make my own with my phone or iPad, thankyouverymuch.

Blog, Everyday
At this point, I’ve realized that I have a lot to say, and that it may be valuable– to someone. This is why I have decided, starting today, to write and publish a blog post everyday. This is not simply a goal, but more of a way for me to share my passion for what I do. There are a lot of exciting things going on in my classroom and professional life that I want to share with the world! This is why started my blog, and this is why I feel the need to blog more. Over the years, I have heard many teachers complain about feeling unrecognized and under-appreciated for all the hard work they do. I felt this way before I started blogging. Although I have received no awards or formal recognition, I still write because it gives me a voice, even when no one is listening, my story is here for anyone who cares to read it. I also have a lot more going on now than I did three years ago when I started blogging, so I think it’s time that I wrote more!

One tool that is really helping me wrap my brain around this major undertaking is a WordPress (WP) plugin called “Editorial Calendar”. In the above screenshot, you see my calendar, which is available under the “Posts” menu in the WP dashboard. I hope to see this calendar fill up really soon! I allows me to schedule posts whenever I want, and even compose (“quick edit”) them right in the calendar window. I already love using it to simply drop ideas , titles, and outlines that I can go back and turn into full posts later.

Focus on What’s Important
In the past, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to gain everyone’s approval and respect–my peers, my supervisors, and even my friends and family. Only those closest to me, my immediate family and a few dear friends, made me feel like I did not have to earn their admiration–so what did they get in return??? Ignored and taken for granted! I was so busy working, going to grad school, attending conferences and burning the midnight oil doing schoolwork for the past few years, that I often neglected those who mattered the most. In an effort to prove to the world that I was “smart” and “successful”, true happiness eluded me. I still have a long way to go to “enlightenment”, but in the past year, I have found much more fulfillment in going to the park with my family or planning a candlelight dinner with my hubby after the kids’ bedtime than any degree or achievement that I have attained. This year, I no longer seek to impress those who aren’t in my home or my daily life. Instead, I choose to save my best self for those who matter most. My conclusion? It’s best captured in this quote:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
— Dr. Seuss

One thought on “2011-2012 school year- my motivation”

  1. Hi there, Thanks for an encouraging post. I start back on Monday and for the first time in forever I am not excited about going back to school due to the issues from last year that are still there. Your post has encouraged me to approach this coming year in a new way. Thanks

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