This is a tough year.
I feel like that has been the mantra for teachers and me for the last few years. Is it the Common Core? Misguided accountability? Children now-a-days? The mountain of paperwork? Who knows… In the end, what it comes down to is that I love teaching. And when it gets hard, I head back to one of my favourite books…
So, I went to open it up today…I do try to read most days in order. But when a topic speaks to me, I let it.
My Nook literally took me to October 10th…the date 3 days before my anniversary, and a month and 7 days before today. “Poise Wreckers.” Just the title gave me pause. I feel surrounded by chaos and difficulty. People I love are struggling…are sad. I just can’t manage to ‘master’ my classroom this year…and my family seems in some disarray. And I haven’t felt up to par.
So why poise?
Honestly, I don’t think much about poise. I’m not exactly sure what poise is.
Well, maybe it’s time.
“No quality is more attractive than poise – that deep sense of being at ease with yourself and the world.”
Good Housekeeping, September 1947.
Sarah Ban Breathnach describes a day she changed herself for a meeting rather than relax and be who she is. In the end, she worried herself up to late at night, dressed outside her comfort zone, and ended up farther away from happiness and peace.
“To achieve order within, begin with outward order.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach
When I start to struggle, I always look for clues for how to get back to the better me. It’s true. It’s difficult to feel confidence and serene amid piles of stuff. My classroom feels in disarray…my home is still not done from summer….I feel like I am always a full five steps behind where I need to be.
How can my teaching feel together and with it, if my life is ‘cluttered’ and ‘jumbled’? The Common Core feels like a ‘new look’. (The new Florida standards is the Common Core – except for a sentence or two each grade level.)
According to SBB, “If you want a new look, put it together thoughtfully and gradually, so that you’ll be at ease with the final effect.” Well, I don’t feel like I have put this new look together well.
The implementation feels jumbled, my thoughts are cluttered with new stuff, I just don’t have the ‘poise.’ Maybe that is where I am going wrong.
“Poise is often overlooked when we think of putting together our authentic look.” So…if I stop focusing on what’s going wrong, what feels off, Sarah says my smile will become ‘warmer’, my laughter more ‘spontaneous’, and my thoughtfulness will ‘blossom.” I soooo want that! I am very reflective and I feel if I am not quite right with the world, my students aren’t heading down the smoothest path possible. And honestly, I know I challenge them…but I still want their challenges to feel they are developed in strength and not chaos. Does that make sense? So, I need to gain some poise…find some order and take time to have a ‘beauty routine’ that sets my day BEFORE I leave my home.
Poise is more than just looks, it is that ease with my self. As a leader in my classroom, I need be the calm before the storm, rather than the wind than brings in the tornados and hurricanes. And these days, I feel more like I am weathering storms, rather than having the confidence gained with good planning before one. (I feel like I’m thinking in idioms.)
That said. I am heading back to blogging my thoughts….getting my mental dressing table prepared for each day…making sure my classroom plans reflect the planning and preparation I expect for myself…and that I need.
I need to include my family in that…and my own health.
You are probably thinking I am already out timing myself…where will I get all this time? I need to focus better, rest more, and exercise. I need to eat healthier…and use each minute well. More important…
The only way we become truly at ease with ourselves is by knowing who we are.
Sarah Ban Breathnauch
Maybe that is what is the most wrong this year. With all the changes and piling paperwork…less time…mounting family challenges…maybe I’ve lost sight of who I am in all of this. I have always sort of know who I was as a teacher and my strengths. This year I feel like I am facing so many challenges, I am losing site of who I am.
Well, regardless…resilience is one of my superpowers. In the end, I love my family, I love my students, and I love to teach. So, I need to put my head down and organize my ‘dressing table’ and closet. I need to spend some time putting my new self together thoughtfully and gradually…and enjoy the growth and change. I need to gain order outward, before I truly have that inward order. I need to personally groom my inner self..my own sense of style…that comes from celebrating on my strengths and less on the shortfalls. I need to place nurturing my ‘inner poise’ into A daily ritual…I need to have a daily beauty ritual!
And of course…it only costs me time…ugh..and self nurturing…well…. as many spouses, parents and teachers will tell you…that will be the biggest challenge. ‘Who I am’ and ‘time for me’ seemed to be at the end of the line when it comes to work and family.
That’s where I am going wrong…so…Poise wreckers…move over! I can ‘bend and snap’ like the rest of them!
First on my list..going to be early and getting some good sleep!