It’s no surprise: I like email. I love to tweet. I adore blogging. I definitely express myself best in writing. Around the middle of the month, I read this thoughtful blog post by one of our Board’s superintendents, Sue Dunlop. She speaks about her own email experiences, and how sometimes face-to-face discussions are better. While I often have phone and face-to-face conversations with parents, I tend to avoid these conversations professionally. I’m a very passionate person, but I also tend to be very emotional. It’s sometimes hard to control these emotions in face-to-face discussions. I like that I can plan out what I’m going to say in an email, and I can take my time formulating a response. Just like students need thinking time, as an adult, I also need it.
Recently though, I decided to do something that’s very “uncomfortable” for me, and I initiated a professional face-to-face discussion. I’ll admit that I tried emailing first. I even considered a blog post. But I couldn’t seem to formulate my ideas well, and I knew that this was something I needed to talk about. This was also a case where it wasn’t good enough to just share thinking on a “general topic” … for my own peace of mind, I needed to dig a little deeper.
And as hard as this was for me, I’m so glad that I had this discussion. Things went way better than I anticipated. I got to hear a different point of view, and now I understand so much more. By thinking ahead about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, I also managed to keep my emotions in check. This may be a small thing for many people, but it’s a huge thing for me! After talking, I was left with a lot of wonderful things to think about, including the fact that maybe I should have these professional talks a little more often.
Every day, I ask students to take risks. I tell them that a little “struggling” is a good thing. I encourage them to get uncomfortable. I think I need to do the same. I may feel comfortable getting uncomfortable in my teaching practices, but before the year is over, I need to move into more uncomfortable territory in my professional and social interactions. This is going to be hard, but I’m ready! I know how valuable this last conversation was, and now I know that I can do it again. Thanks Sue for the little nudge … even if you didn’t realize that you were giving me one! 🙂
It was back in January that so many of us chose our “one word.” Mine has guided me a lot this year, and I feel as though my definition of it continues to evolve. What impact has your “one word” had on your life so far? As I contemplate my next “uncomfortable” goal, I’d also love to hear your stories.