I love a new challenge and given that I've broken my elbow and had to give up on some of the more physical challenges I'd planned for the start of the year, and because I feel bad for not taking on a Feb Fast (I'm great at taking on new things, not so good at giving up established habits), the idea of establishing a writing routine by writing for 28 minutes, every day for 28 days, is an appealing one.
I'm hoping that this challenge will embed a reflective writing routine that will help me to overcome the procrastination and fear of mediocrity that usually sabotages my blog posts. I'm also hoping I can use this as a modeling exercise for my students, showing them that it is possible in everyone's busy day to find time for reflection and writing.
What will I write about? Like the rest of my blog, these pieces will be about my experience, as a person and a teacher. Growing older is a privilege and I welcome the opportunity to share the triumphs and tragedies that have shaped my life. Through sharing we connect with others and our own learning can be passed on and become part of the fabric of someone else's life story. It's the closest to immortality we can get.
Teaching consumes most of my life and so it is the basis for most of my experiences. I've been teaching all my working life and - with time out for child rearing- this will be my 30 somethingth year at the chalkface.
Contrary to romantic fiction, as a kid I had no burning desire to be a teacher, no yearning to mould young lives or become the font of all wisdom. I wanted to leave school in year 11 and become a dental nurse but (thankfully), the teacher I asked for a reference told the dental hospital that I would make a crap dental nurse; that I should finish yr 12 and go to university. Back in the 70's, country girls who wanted to go to university and then come home and marry their boyfriends only had two choices, nursing or teaching. University was free in those days (thanks Gough Whitlam), and better still there was a shortage of teachers so the government offered studentships to high achieving HSC students who were willing to sign up to the Department and teach anywhere in Victoria for 3 years after their training. The studentship paid enough to house and feed me in the city and that was a good enough reason- along with the fact that in those days nurses had to wear very dowdy uniforms and silly hats- for me to pack my bags and head off to Melbourne Teacher's College.
Luckily for me, I fell in love with teaching on my first placement, a Prep class in Nth Melbourne and I never looked back. I love schools. They have their own aura, their own smell, their own energy.
These days I share my time between teaching, curriculum development and student welfare but it's the classroom time that I really love. Being able to influence the development of young people is an amazing opportunity and watching learning happen is an astounding experience, one that I never get tired of.
Of course, its not all beer and skittles but my timer is on 22 minutes and there's no way I'm hitting the publish button without some basic proof reading, so that's a post for another day!