Skip to main content


Deep breath.
I just finished my monthly Skype call with my doctoral advisors in Australia.
Yes, I am getting my doctorate.
And working full time.
It has been difficult but satisfying.
It's one of the biggest professional challenges I've had to face in my life.

Now, I am officially a doctoral candidate.
That sounds pretty spiffy, doesn't it?
But, it's a lot of work.
There are too many distractors.
I have a deadline looming for June,
so I need to buckle down over the next month.
Do lots of reading and writing.
It's reading and thinking that's important to me as a professional.
Otherwise, I wouldn't do it.
But, it's still hard work.
Sometimes I feel like giving up.
Am I a scholar?
So, the doubt creeps in and I have to do a lot of self-talk.
I push through.
Sometimes, my confidence needs a boost.
I'm the only one that can do that.
It just takes courage, my one little word for this year.

So, back to practical matters - I know what I need to do.
Get myself better organized
so that I can be as productive and efficient as possible.
Keep my eye on the prize
so I remember why I'm doing this.
Maintain a clear vision and keep it at arm's length,
close and accessible,
so that I can reach it.

It's all good.
I will do this.

Cross posted to March Slice of Life Challenge, Day #20.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Students Plan for a Day of Learning

This is the third in a series of blog posts about strategies I use to help my students take ownership of their learning. The first post was about class meetingsThe second post was about giving kids opportunities todetermine their own writing and reading plansevery Friday afternoon. (Coming soon is the fourth post in this series about using student surveys to provide feedback about the classroom.)


"Yesterday I felt more independent than ever because I had to tell myself what to do." - 5th grade boy
It did not come as a surprise that my students embraced the idea of planning their learning for an entire day. That is what being autonomous and self-directed is all about and what we all desire to be in our day-to-day experiences. Allowing students to create their own schedules for learning, albeit conditioned by specific parameters (reading, writing, math, sc…

The Teacher I Want to Be

I have been dismayed to realize that despite my self-image as a teacher with a learner centered classroom, I am far from truly achieving that goal. 

I have been listening carefully to myself lately, and I don't like what I hear myself saying to the kids. Instead of empowering my students to take ownership of their learning, I am still the director on the stage. I still ask leading questions rather than ones that push the learner to figure things out for herself. I realize I often spoon feed my students hopeful that they will give me the answer I'm looking for. An answer that will make my job easier. Answers that will fit with what I expect students to say despite the fact that 30 years in education has taught me nothing if not that students are unpredictable, and if we prepare for anything, that is what we should be prepared for. 
An anecdote. The other day I was talking with a student about the fact that she was abandoning more books than she was finishing. I was as…

Searching for Balance

I have been doing a lot of soul searching over the last couple of days. 
And, I've come to the conclusion that I must change my attitude - shift my stance - so I can assume a new perspective. So that I am more aligned with what's important and may add value to my life.  
Focusing on the negative is not making me stronger or healthier. In fact, I am often stressed because I worry a lot about unimportant things. I obsess over situations out of my control. I dismiss positive experiences that would help lift my spirits and align my focus towards what's important. 
I need a distraction from my own thoughts.
I need balance in my life. Not because I work hard to prepare my classes. Not because I read a lot of professional literature. Not because I wrote a lot this summer and will continue to do so now that school has started. But because I have been obsessing on the wrong things. Mostly, I obsess about what someone said or did and what it says about me as a teacher. I obsess about …