Social Media- A land of grand ideas and so many talented people and a lot of comparison. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Pinterst, or Twitter, it can be easy to start scrolling and start comparing.
In the last 3 months, I have gone through lots of change (mainly good) but have found myself getting stuck in the comparison cycle. In November, I got the great news that I’m pregnant (after 5 rounds of infertility treatments, testing, and more). I was so excited but just that news in the time of this global pandemic brought about lots of change. I filled out paperwork to work from home to limit my exposure to Covid-19. I had to switch students (a hard change on students, families, and me) and I had to change my teaching context… going back once again to full time remote teaching (I was teaching in the hybrid model October-December).
For one reason or another, I constantly found myself stuck in the land of comparison. Am I doing things the right way? The best way? As good as the remote teacher at another school? Am I announcing my pregnancy too early? Too late? Is my bump bigger than hers? Smaller? I remember thinking, “I’ve got to cut myself a break… there is A LOT going on right now.” And then it occured to me, I am only comparing because social media makes it possible for me to see ALL THE THINGS- The teachers who are killing it in-person and doing fun hands-on activities with social distancing, the pregnant friend from college who is absolutely glowing, the remote teachers who have found very engaging ways to connect with their students.
In the last month, I’ve worked hard to slow my speeding brain down, give myself a chance to breathe, and reflect on how I’m doing. Setting aside my phone, limiting my time on social media, and truly taking time for me.
Building small pockets of time to reflect on our classrooms matters, just as much as our personal lives. Sometimes the reflection might be written, a whole-class conversation, or a one on one conversation. It allows us a chance to breathe, for us to learn about ourselves, and allows us to set goals both short term and long term.
It got me thinking, if I am go, go, go-ing and compare, compare, comparing- never slowing down… how might my students feel? How can I provide students with the chance to breathe, think, reflect, and process about the day, their friends, their learning, and goals for the future?
Something I started in my corner of teaching second grade remotely was a simple chart where students record something positive from their day and something they want to make even better. So far, my students’ “something positive”s have included crazy hair day, moving up a reading level, getting better at math, and coding on Scratch. The “make even better”s consisted of staying focused, showing my work for subtraction, my Zoom was glitchy, and I miss my friends.
Building in time for reflection allows us the time to leave the land of comparison and enter the mindset of growth.
As you build small pockets of reflection into your day, let me know what you notice!