It’s been a long time, too long, since I posted anything on this blog. There are a few reasons for this. One is that I have a new job this school year! I have stepped out of the classroom and become the assistant director at my school. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, and it has been amazing. Having thrust myself into this new position, I have not been pondering the same type of questions I once pondered on my blog. But to blame my web absence on this alone would be telling a half-truth.
So I must confess something, I have a fear of writing. It’s not a fear that wakes me up at night in a cold sweat after dreams of journaling pop into my head. It’s a calmer, ignored the kind of fear. So whenever I’m faced with the task of writing I simply avoid, avoid, avoid. It’s honestly the main reason that I have failed to keep my blog current.
But I’ve realized that so much of what I do and more importantly, what I want to do in the future will require me to write and to do so comfortably. So I’ve self-prescribed aversion therapy to help me overcome my fear. I will face it head on and force myself to write! Currently, my plan is to choose one night a week to write for an hour, with no distractions. This means no cell phone nearby and no TV in the background. Just me and the blank screen on my monitor. Scary!
To be honest, my fear is about failure. Deep down I worry I’m not a “good” writer. I’m not even really sure what a “good” writer means; but I know it’s this concern that hinders me. So inevitably, as I always do, my thoughts of my own insecurities and fears bring me back to thinking about my students. I see this same fear of failure in my students emerging at a very early age. Each year there are the children who shy away from certain kinds of work; many times they will simply say it is not something they enjoy. When pushed a little further maybe they will explain that they don’t know how to do it or they simply “can’t”. In these moments it is so important to have a supportive teacher who can guide them through the activity and scaffold the areas where they need extra guidance. This support allows them to have a successful outcome which they can then attribute to their own capabilities. But I wonder what else can we do to support our fearful children and not shy away from the things they perceive as difficult.
Many times it is the things that don’t come as naturally to us that provide the biggest rewards once accomplished . So while I may think I don’t enjoy writing, or that I’m not quite skilled at it, I know through my student’s perseverance that it’s worth it to keep trying. As the saying goes, “nothing worth having comes easy”. I am going to keep at my writing and in the meantime I am going to continue to brainstorm how we can support our students to do the same.
I’d love to hear from you about how you support your students through their most challenging tasks!