This is a day on which all I seem to want to do is read and write. Read and write, read and write. But I’m at school and the kids won’t let me be. “Watch me!” they cry. They are starving for my attention and I see that there is no way I can possibly feed them all. They are feeling so hungry and so am I. We’re all hungry, only for different things.
This is a day when I feel useless to them, worse than my own sub. I can’t even claim that I am a stand-in for my best intentions. No, I am not. I want to be somewhere else where it is quiet and peaceful and the wireless is functional. I am desperate to be reading and writing. Because of my peek-in reading this morning I had to immediately track down a new book in the elementary library. One read that leads to more reading and I feel a moment of relief.
My students hardly know how badly I need to write. They can’t tell. But maybe their parents will when they read the report comments that I have penned (electronically, of course) with such love and care. Comments are where my love of writing and the love for my students meld. Every comment is unique because every student is unique. Sometimes a comment can become a remarkable vignette of this child in this moment in my eyes. It is a joy and challenge to paint a picture of each child in the context of my busy gym space over the course of 9 or so weeks. When I describe their antics, struggles and idiosyncrasies, I try to make extra space for their strengths to light up the paragraph, even when I have a hard time coping with a difficult behavior pattern or two.
I just finished the first round of comments and so feel like a kid let out for recess. But then there are all these other demands: More curriculum documentation, new equipment that I have to integrate into my planning and lessons, tech tools that still need experimenting with. These tasks make me cranky. Because I’m like a kid in that I don’t really want to do the stuff I’m not really good at. I’m convinced that too much learning and growing isn’t good for you. It can make you tired and feel depleted and make you forget that you’ve already come so far. I’m not Lot’s wife. I won’t become a pillar of salt if I turn around and look at where I’ve been and take in the incredible traces I have left, am leaving. I’m not Lot’s wife, but I feel like I might be. Because, you know, continuous improvement means never standing still, always looking ahead, in order to be a part of ‘the next big thing,’ right?
It’s rare that my need to vent reaches the outside edges of this blog. But perhaps it’s high time to let off some steam, to throw off some of those public allures.
I read a post this morning about getting more traffic on your blog and I thought it both ridiculous and very revealing.
Here’s a taste of what I found:
According to Danny Iny, successful blogger and owner of Firepole Marketing, if you have a new blog that’s getting fewer than 200 page views per day, your focus should be on gaining more traffic. Okay, but how?
And I get that there’s a whole world out there in the giant attention economy filled with bloggers of every stripe who are literally “in it to win it.” They want, crave and pursue traffic because that’s what marketing experts like Iny say you should do. It made me think about the sound of that term: “traffic.” No, no, that’s not my point in being here. My interest, my purpose is in cultivating and caring for audience, which I understand to be quite distinct from traffic. 200 page views per day? Here? No, that is clearly not the party I am hosting. But for those who arrive here through one channel or another should feel welcomed, at ease, free to comment and share. That is what I am here for. It is the pay off for all the reading and writing I do and look forward to doing.
Meanwhile, I feel better now that I’ve got some writing out of my system. Sometimes there has to be room for this too: the unvarnished, the meandering, and even loopy post.
There, I’m done. Thanks.