There are many wonderful things about my job. I get to inspire and support some amazing student work and spend the day focusing on some awesome combination of writing and comic books, but there are also some not-so-awesome parts of my job. Lots of tedious paperwork and cat-herding comes with directing a National Writing Project site – it isn’t all poetry slams and National Day On Writing celebrations (although it should be!). Plus, the sort of collaborative, project-based, BYOD, service-learning class that I teach is fun and exciting, but also labor intensive and messy – even more so this week when we ran into some technology challenges.
While I have really enjoyed my professional journey this semester it has progressively felt like a runaway freight train and we all know how that can end. During our Celebrating Writing Eastern Kentucky event (in honor of National Day on Writing), I created this six word story and sadly – not only am I dropping eggs but sometimes I don’t even notice they fell until days later when something starts to smell. I wish I was only a day late and dollar short…
I am busy and tired and stressed, but instead of curling into the fetal position and staying in bed all day on Saturday, Nov. 8, (which does sound like Heaven) I will head to campus bright and early for our Writing Eastern Kentucky Conference and I know that I will be much better for the experience. I have just one question for you: Why won’t you be there too?
As I’ve noted before, this is a stressful time to be in education, but that is why you must take time to refresh and renew. Take time to feed yourself as a writer and as a teacher. Take time to remember why you love teaching and why this is the best job in the world. Take time to remember how amazing it feels to immerse yourself in a National Writing Project event and surround yourself with National Writing Project teachers.
I’ve heard all the excuses. Work. Family. Trips to China (OK, that one I’ll take). Those are just excuses. It is easy to put yourself and your needs last, but this can be a fatal mistake. You will hurt yourself and your career by not taking time to feed yourself. Remember to put your oxygen mask on first or you will be in no position to help anyone else. Tell your family that you need to take this day for yourself. Tell your boss that you will learn and grow professionally. Tell yourself that you deserve this day and come join us for our annual Writing Eastern Kentucky Conference. Come write with us. Come learn with us. Come celebrate our profession and writing in Eastern Kentucky. It will be the best day. I promise.