George Couros that really struck a chord with me. In his blog, George wrote:
"Sometimes I wish that I had more great ideas. I wonder when an awesome
idea will pop into my head or I will be inspired and I can share it with
our staff and get them really excited about some new learning
that can happen in their classrooms. Lately though, it just doesn’t
seem the wheel are turning and I am starting to wonder why. I know that I
have helped to push
some great learning initiatives within our school division, but it
doesn’t seem that there have been any new ones coming from my office
For me, this hit the nail on the head. I do my best to stay current with what is going on in the educational world: I read articles each day, comment on blogs, try to collaborate with colleagues as often as I can, and put on PD sessions and attend conferences every few months. But lately, much like George has alluded to, I feel like I have 'run out' of things to share.
Several months ago, I wrote a post called "Do What Should Done THEN tell" in which I wrote about my need to provide more practical applications in my blog:
"Each day, I read countless newspaper articles, impassioned posts, and
convincing studies that shout out "we are failing children", "change the
system", or "do something different". These excellent resources are
written by talented, skilled educators who work in the system today and
clearly care deeply about students and student learning. And to this
end, I agree with all of them (or at least almost all of them) that I
have read. But then I think about Mom's comment in the Detroit Public Schools investigative report--"I know you care, now what are you doing to show
This year, I am going to focus less on TELLING people how much I care
about students, education and the need for educational reform to better
meet the needs of student and teacher learners. Instead, I am going to
focus more on DOING things to make our school and current system of
education better and then share with others."
And as much as we have been "doing things to make our school" better, I find myself feeling guilty that my blog has been relatively silent lately. That according to the metric that I quoted for my blog above, that I am not being creative and innovative enough at our school that I feel like there is something new and practical to share. Rather than blogging excitedly twice per week about the new and exciting things that we are doing at our school, I find that I am blogging once every couple of weeks, and reaching to do even that.
After beating myself up about this for quite a while, I am coming to grips with the fact that it's OK just to try to make what it is that you are doing BETTER. That everything that you do doesn't have to be new. That reflecting on what you are doing is likely not as 'glamourous' and 'share-worthy' as when you begin implementing something new and innovative. But while not as 'glamourous', reflection on what you are doing and tweaking things to make them more functional and effective in improving student and educator achievement is likely just as (if not more) important.
This year we have changed our staff meeting format and are constantly looking for ways to make staff meetings more interactive for our staff by altering our collegial conversation topic voting format. One of the topics that we will be discussing in the near future is the effective use of cell phones for learning in classrooms: some of our staff members are expressing some concerns with how they are currently being used. We sent a team to the Professional Learning Communities Summit in February to create more eyes to critically examine our collaboration and intervention strategies along with surveying our staff so that we can tweak them at our next staff meeting. We changed the format of our SMART goal template so it more accurately describes the progress that our departments are making towards their goals. Our library looks like a construction zone because we are coming close to our its being transformed into a Learning Hub. Our student wifi capacity has been increased and changed to a more 'hotel-like' feel so more students can use it. And I am hopeful that our District's application to Instructional Rounds at Harvard will be successful.
However, none of these things are particularly 'new'. Yet we continuously tinker.
I still struggle with this odd feeling of guilt for blogging less, but I hope that it is because we are reflecting more.
Do others struggle with this feeling?