Striking a Balance

Last week I received a very thoughtful comment on my previous blog post that really had me thinking.

I agree wholeheartedly that educators – well actually everyone – needs to grow. But it seems that in this time of exponential technological growth, that mindset needs to include a rider about balance and efficiency. ~E Hurst

I’ve spent a few weeks on this blog talking about ALL THE THINGS we are doing, but talking about balance and efficiency is really important, too.  Educators are often asked and expected to do more and more.  Every year we talk about the new things that have been added to our plates and how nothing ever is taken away.

So how do we decide what gets our energy and attention?

I think it really helps to a have a focus, theme and guiding principles to help you decide.  We will always be handed more and more to do, but as a professional, one of my jobs is prioritization.  I need to know what our school and district’s guiding principles say about our focus.

This was a big piece of what we shared with our staff in the opening staff meeting this year. Our goals align with the FCPS goals and the programs we are working through and developing help us reach those goals.  Between Portrait of a Graduate and Ignite, FCPSon, the new Teaching Model and our school’s mission and vision, we will prepare our students for future success.

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Another big emphasis, and honestly, our theme for the year is Just One.  Just choose one area, make one change and do it well.  This is not about quantity, but about quality of our teaching and students’ leaning.  My principal and I acknowledged, in our staff meeting and in our opening trainings, there is no way to do it all.  And we don’t expect you to do it all! So start with one – and make a change.

opening-faculty-meeting-16-17-1

Some of us (me included) have the personality type that we want to be good at and learn and do ALL the things.  This has been a struggle that I’ve had as long as I can remember.  As soon as I learn about something I want to know more and more.  This kept me up at night, reading with a flashlight when I was a little girl (…and even now!).  This is why I’m so active on social media and love connecting with my PLN and reading blogs from other educators and organizations.  I have seen this trait in several of my teachers – and have shared with them how I work toward balance and how I struggle with this. We’ve got to support each other while we find the balance we need or we won’t be able to do any of it well.

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