But, I am beginning to feel the pressure of the waning days of summer creep across my shoulders. It has been downright fun to sit at my desk in my Florida room, watching the shenanigans of the critters in my backyard as I sift through mentor texts, designing lessons for shared reading. And then doing the same for math and social studies just to round out the first week's curriculum. Up until now, time has been my friend. Time has allowed me to work the way I like, creating lessons that will engage my students, invite inquiry, and grow their understanding of the curriculum.
The perfectionist in me insists on creating these lessons within a framework that is different than when I left the classroom 7 years ago. You heard me say the words engagement, inquiry, design...all concepts that have been added to the landscape of pedagogy through the works of literacy giants like John Hattie and Harvey "Smokey" Daniels, among many, many others. My teaching practice is strongly influenced by current thinking in literacy. I have read the books, studied the research, and am trying to capture all of the resulting "best practices" in my lessons. Every single one of them.
And time is running out.
I took a picture on my run this morning of the sun, rising behind a stand of trees at the reservoir. I could just see the shine of the sun glinting between and behind the full leaves of the trees.
So, how do we as teachers find our way to that lesson when time is no longer abundant?
I'm not sure I know the answer. One thing I do know to be true...I have to let go of the idea of perfect. There is no perfect lesson. There is no perfect teacher. There are no perfect classrooms. Chasing perfection is exhausting.
What is necessary and what I can be is perfectly present. I am releasing myself from having a perfect classroom set up before my students even step foot through the door. I am releasing myself from writing perfect lesson plans for every subject for every day of every week. I am releasing myself from thinking I have to be a perfect teacher because I have 20 years of experience.
What I will expect from myself is to be perfectly present. Present for my students. Present for their parents. Present for my colleagues.
You can see the brightening sky above the trees in my picture. The sky is always present, even when the sun is hidden. I will aim for the brightening sky 100% of the time, and hope to find the sun when I can.
Have a great week!