It has been so long.
I forgot how to open this page.
Typing a “j” in the URL bar did not produce what I remembered.
I have been reluctant to come here. Afraid is a better word.
What can I say that I haven’t already said; that matters?
I am realizing, now that the dust of the year has settled, that my focus and purpose has been obscured. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been out of sorts, and unwilling to open this page.
But I am working on it.
A book, 180 Days by Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher, has helped. While their population is secondary, their mission aligns with my core and their approach to teaching into students’ reading and writing lives inspires me.
Conversation with old colleagues has helped. Being reminded of the fact that my best teaching and my best self comes from where my passions exist. The importance of reading and putting words together is always where I’ve found purpose and joy. Being sidetracked by other content areas has made it hard to put words together. Not to say that math isn’t fascinating, but for me, a great read is far more fulfilling. (Apologies to all the beautiful mathematical minds and friends I have made in the pursuit of understanding concepts and conjectures.) Realigning with what makes my heart sing won’t diminish my understanding, or the wonders of how students decompose a number. But it will make me much happier and a better teacher.
And finally, an email from a much-loved mentor and friend has helped me open up this page and write.
I’d begun to think this space was uninhabitable. I was afraid. But it’s like a loved book. After a few lines, it feels like home.