It Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing

October 29, 2014. That was the last time I posted to my blog.  Somewhere along the way I’ve imposed upon myself this “rule” that a post must be lengthy, detailed, and eloquent. There must be something spectacular to share or a great epiphany that must be shouted from the rooftops. Do you hear my insecurities and self-consciousness creeping in? Then, there is my perfectionist, type-A personality. Unless a sentence and those preceding it are exactly the way I want them, composing a new one is out of the question. Even a “quick” thought or idea to share translates into to my self-imposed “rule” about blogging and makes a post seem cumbersome. Add to the equation a full time teaching position (I teach two different grade levels and serve as a coach/specialist for grades 3-5) and a family with four children, time has become a valuable commodity and time to blog a supreme luxury. Blogging has become “all” or “nothing”.

But I miss blogging and the opportunity for reflection. And the timing for a new series of missions and prompts from Exploring the MTBoS could not be more welcome. The first mission; read a blog post, comment on it and post a comment here. Scrolling through my Feedly for inspiration, the title “Sometimes, Life Just Gets in the Way” grabbed my attention. So I clicked on the article, read Lisa’s post, and was reminded not only of why I blog, but that being selfish also means being selfless. Though enthused about rekindling my blog, the reality for me is that composing a post seems like a daunting task (don’t even ask how long to took to write this post!).

Exiting the Grand Ballroom at NCTM Boston following Dan Meyer’s presentation on mathematical modeling, I asked one of my colleagues for his thoughts. He cited the presentation as interesting, but felt there was nothing that he could incorporate into his classroom. “Of course, you can!” I retorted. “You don’t need to do all of it, like Dan said. If you use the textbook word problems, at least ask your students what variables might affect the solution. Just start the conversation. Let them think about it.”

Then it hit me. Perhaps I should take my own advice. It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”. It’s simply about starting the conversation, expanding your comfort zone, and letting go.    And it’s not only for the classroom. It’s for life.

Though I might not be there yet, I am taking baby-steps to get there. And it’s starting with this blog post.


About shlager

I'm a teacher and rookie math coach who loves designing tasks to motivate, engage, and challenge, a mom to 4 yummy kids, and wife to a hockey lover. Happiness is getting everything organized!
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6 Responses to It Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing

  1. Lisa says:

    So, so true. And I’m right there with you. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Casey says:

    Who better to do my ExploreMTBoS homework with than you! What a great time we had in Boston, amirite??? Loved getting to meet you at long last. I love chatting with you on Mondays and I just couldn’t have been happier for the time we spent.

    I love what you have to say here. I started a blog right before TMC. I’ve only posted a few times and I keep them private unless someone actually wants to read them. Um did you mention insecurity and self-conciousness? Because I am dripping in both. I enjoy writing, but I feel like I have had enough people silence my voice that I can’t find my value in it. Most days I feel so inadequate even though this math thing is something I have super duper come to love. But mostly I feel like anything I have to say has been said by so many others or the ideas have been stolen from someone else. Why do my comments need to be recorded when so many others have said similar in such a better way?

    So anyway – maybe I will add your blogging resolution of not being all or nothing to my other calls for action. I know Hedge would be happy with me 🙂

    • shlager says:

      Meeting you was definitely one of the highlights of the conference!And everything you said about finding your voice and others saying it better makes me wonder if you are inside my head! I am glad that you are on this journey with me. There is strength in numbers and hopefully we can break through those insecurities and be better at acknowledging that we are super awesome.

  3. “It’s simply about starting the conversation, expanding your comfort zone, and letting go.”
    Love it.
    Thanks, Adrienne!

  4. Wendy Menard says:

    Adrienne- great post! I, too, suffer from the inability to post without feeling like my writing has to be as well-crafted as I can possibly make it; in a former lifetime, I got a graduate degree in English. The sentiment that you gleaned from Dan’s talk is widely applicable, in our classrooms and our lives. Sorry I didn’t get to Boston, and see you again.

  5. I enjoy Twitter with my morning coffee. I saw Justin’s tweet, with your link: Your blog was my first click .. Reading what you you’ve written is great way to start the day. thank you for taking the time to write..

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