Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stuck in a rut...

So it has been a LONG time since I last posted...
Am not sure HOW I got in this rut, but I know that it is one that I REALLY need to get out of...

Today, after reaching the peak of my frustration level with the new network settings in my district I decided I was going to sit, relax, eat my lunch and do some blog reading...and this post by Vicki Davis Stood out for me...It was titled: Why I blog and Perils of Perfection and several of Vicki's comments really resonated with me...

Perfection

I must admit that I've been suffering from a bit of perfection paralysis in the past week. I see so many things to write and as I've read several books on good technical writing over break, I see so much more that I need to be. I fall so short of things. V. Davis

What I think is the greatest challenge I have right now is not how much I fall short (and believe me I feel sometimes like I do fall quite short) but how much further behind others are. If I am going to be a model for others to learn from then I feel like I have to be on the cutting edge...I am constantly trying new things...but not taking the time to reflect....I have tried starting a journal for my exercise to improve my healthy habits..Folks say to me...3 kids, full-time job, I don't know how you do it (and sometimes I don't either) but what I do know is that taking the time to reflect WILL make me a better person both personally and professionally.
The other tough thing is that my life is so busy that I'm never "in the know" on "what is happening" in the blogosphere. I don't have the time to check twitter but probably once a day. I check my reader quickly several times a week and I talk on Wow2, however, as I have spent most of my life "out," I remain "out." V. Davis
There are days where I walk through the doors of my school and don't get to my office to put my bag down until almost lunch time. I am constantly running from place to place putting out fires, wondering if I am challenging my teachers enough or pushing them too far out of their comfort zones. I LEARN so much every day from my professional learning network and yet to sit and reflect on it all... is the most challenging thing for me right now. I understand the power of reflection...but I have felt lately a bit like I am screaming into the echo chamber and not I am not even hearing the reply of my own voice echoing back...

SO I am going to do as Vicki did...and examine the reasons that I DO blog...
  1. So that I can keep learning: Reflection is how I process information...and processing = learning
  2. To keep a running record of my learning: I can't tell you the number of times I have had a great learning experience and because I didn't reflect, it is difficult to replicate. I need to take time to really LEARN new things before I can apply them in my district. Hopefully reconnecting with my blog will help me to do this.
  3. Make connections: I can't tell you the number of folks with whom I have connected through blogs & commenting... and to build on that my final reason...
  4. To be an ACTIVE participant in the conversation.
To my faithful readers...I apologize for all of the the posts that didn't get written...The skype banterings while watching the PA State Senate Hearings, Arthus's ustream of the political primaries in New Hampshire, new tools I have learned. I hope I didn't lose you... it is my resolution to do a better job...just have to remember, I don't have to be perfect.

Blogged with Flock

13 comments:

  1. Kristin, I understand how you feel. I don't have my hands in as many pots as you do and I don't know how you do it. But, as I pushed the envelope with using technology in the classroom, I faced a lot of resistance from my staff. It was frustrating trying to be a role model and a leader in my school and district without the support of my colleagues. I too fell into a "rut" for a very long time because I felt as though I worked very hard to make a difference but my staff was reluctant to try new techniques or applications that I introduced them to.

    So, for a while, I just stepped back, did my job, and stopped pushing the envelope. When I discovered twitter and started building a network of amazing teachers, I realized how far behind other great technology integrators I was falling.

    Having this network inspired me to want to do more, to want to learn more, to want to share more! Within the past month, I have created my own functioning wikis, a blog, blogs for my students, voicethreads, launched our new website and created the Vare Voices podcast series. In 2008, I have a new commitment to really infusing technology across the curriculum in my school and hopefully sparking interest among my staff to want to do more to integrate technology in their classrooms.

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  2. The everyday bureaucracy of education quickly turns excitement into frustration and frustration into apathy. The only thing we can do is to try and temper the excitement with the knowledge that even the slightest change is sometimes a marathon.

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  3. Kristin,

    Your passion for technology uses in with students continues to inspire me down south in the Shenandoah Valley.

    I still appreciate your blogging even if you smeared me at facebook Scrabulous. That 70 pt. word still amazes me.

    Go girl!
    Margo

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  4. KH,

    Your energy and passion are amazing, but you have even greater strengths. Daniel Pink's - A Whole New Mind talks about 6 skills today's leaders need to succeed. Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning. You've got those down.

    When all is said and done, what the team creates far surpasses what any individual can ever do. Knowing that if you drop the ball someone else will pick it up is pure magic! Create an environment that becomes a family and everyone will learn together. Showing people you are human has amazing powers! People will only do the things you do when they feel they have the ability. If you are always the guru, nobody else will think they can share that title. =) This is the lesson I'm taking away from your post.

    You will always rock,

    MB

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  5. K,
    Your energy and endless enthusiasm are an inspiration that reach far beyond the walls of your workplace.
    Very, very glad to see you ¨re-emerge¨.
    KP

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  6. Kristin,
    I agree with Kurt. You have affected change in so many people and places! You have been responsible for some pretty incredible positive chain reactions! As for ruts, we all experience them, they help us reevaluate and regroup. Hang in there!

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  7. Do what you can and remember that your kids are only young once. I find that I have to just walk away sometimes like I did for about two weeks over Christmas. It is crazy to drive ourselves too much.

    And remember, a post every so often is better than none at all. You cannot cover it all. You cannot do it all. But do what you can when you can.

    You are an inspiration to many of us (me too) and I enjoy your presence whenever we cross paths. I think you're great!

    Keep on writing (when you can) and remember the words of my wise mother, "You can only go on a guilt trip if you pack your own bag." Don't pack the bag -- rejoice in how far you've come and what you do to influence the world. Keep going.

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  8. Kristin,

    Don't know you. You don't know me. But here's how I found you.

    Teacher feels lonely; starts a blog on a bet with a kindred spirit educator in Nov 2007, discovers that her long lost friend Alex is a tech director for a K-12 school, who recommends Chris Lehmann's blog to her, who wrote a series of comments w/ Clay Burell recently that was fascinating, which leads her to follow Clay on Twitter, which leads her to Vicki Davis, who leads her to you.

    The point? People like you enable this kind of empowerment in me. Grassroots electrified. This, not district bureaucracy, is how we win. Hang in there.

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  9. The Twitter-Tribe from Podiobooks has resolved that "this day shall not be wasted."

    When we get up in the morning, we usually announce that to the twitterverse and resolve, if only mentally, to do ONE thing of significance.

    The problem is we get bogged down in the urgent and never get around to dealing with the significant parts.

    So, as Vicki pointed out, you can't do it all. You can't even do most of it.

    But you CAN do one thing. Make it something significant and then all the rest of the stuff that didn't get done ... well you have a little perspective on that.

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  10. Kristin,
    Ruts are only ruts when the ground is frozen. Stepping into the sides of the rut makes the mud squishy and lets you actually sculpt new things in the mud.

    I just found you on Twitter, thanks to Vicki Davis' plea for encouragement. I don't know you, but just the things linked to your wiki and the comments from others tell me that you are sculpting much more than you give yourself credit for. Remember that your learning takes you farther and faster than your teaching peers and "coaching" subjects because you take the initiative to PLAY in the mud.

    - from a fellow Pennsylvanian, 27 year teaching and technology integration veteran in PA, and PSU ITSC grad...still learning new things and continually awestruck at how much more I still do not know.
    http://blog.teachersfirst.com/thinkteach/

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  11. Hey Kristin, I just checked out your del.icio.us bookmarks as I have only just started using that properly. How long have you been putting your collection together? It is really, really helpful.

    Wow - I'd never heard of commoncraft - what a cool inspiring setup.

    Thank you.

    Joc

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  12. As a new blogger, I know exactly how this feels. I work 2 jobs, have 2 babies, and am attempting to break into the twitterverse, blogosphere, etc......and sleep, eat, and talk to my family once in awhile. I considered cutting down on my blogging, but I really think the reflection time every a.m. is good for me, so I just need to figure out how to stop writing so MUCH and just let it be after a bit. I look forward to reading more on your blog!

    Kate
    http://googtweetblog.edublogs.org

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  13. You go, girl!

    Seriously, go wherever you want.

    Southwest has some really cheap fares.

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