I signed up for an online course this year-“A Year to Clear” which is not just about clearing your space but clearing yourself too. Within the first few lessons the instructor, Stephanie Bennett Vogt discusses overwhelm. That paralysis that happens when we try to tackle everything all at once. Vogt begins to describe her approach to clearing in which you spend a short amount of time focused on a space that you want to clear. With intentionality you spend one minute clearing that space (maybe going through the mail pile) and you do this for one minute each day. It is her slow drip method. It is not how I function but I think I need to move more towards doing things this way.
I feel overwhelmed though. My “to do” list on my phone is long and filled with red dates indicating the due date of many tasks has passed. And the red overwhelms me so I scan by those things quickly and convince myself they are not important to complete now. But maybe that is part of the lesson. I don’t need to complete them. I just need to spend one minute on them with intentionality.
Lesson planning doesn’t seem to fit into this approach. Today I spent about 4 hours working on the week’s plan. It is not complete nor does it have “I can ” statements or standards listed. It’s probably not at all what I am supposed to be producing but each time I sit down to plan and try to see what each grade level is supposed to be learning I become very overwhelmed and can not understand how to cram all of that into one block of time. And so I create lessons that I am not sure are giving my students all they need. I want to do better but I have NO model. None. I have some great resources from a teacher I met on Twitter but I still have no map of what I am doing.
And then there is the behavior. My room got torn apart on Friday and I had a student stay late due to crisis behaviors. It felt like last year. I feel like I learned so much last year and thought I would have so much more under control this year but this year feels like starting a new job all over again. When will this stop feeling like year one?
But, I am going to breathe. I cleaned the house a bit today. Started some kombucha brewing. Did a bit of homework for class. Made dinner. I accomplished a few things. It is what it is and I’ll do what I can. I am going to go prep lunch and breakfast, put in the laundry and then do some more reading for class…oh, and spend one minute on my Classroom Engagement Plan which was due the first week of school.