Late last night, I sent out this tweet.
It’s report card season in Ontario, and for Kindergarten educators, it’s our first time writing the new Communication of Learning. These learning stories are rich ways to reflect on student growth since the beginning of the year.
- They’re personalized.
- They’re focused on the positive.
- They’re child-centred … and when you read them, they truly make you picture each student in your head.
They also take incredibly long to complete. I have written report cards for 15 years, and for every grade from Kindergarten to Grade 6. I’m a big believer in making report cards meaningful, and writing comments that truly reflect the child. I have personalized many comments in the past, and so I did not expect these Communications of Learning to be so much more time-consuming … but they were. The discussion I had online this past weekend showed me that I was not alone in these thoughts.
I share all of this here because I had an epiphany last night. It all started when I realized that what was making me feel giddy, despite being exhausted, was the fact that I could blog again. I have not stopped blogging these past three weeks. I still published a class blog post every night and a couple of professional ones throughout the week, but I highly reduced my professional blogging. I usually blog when I want to blog, but this has changed recently: I needed to spend my time on the Communications of Learning, so I needed to reduce my blogging.
I blog for many reasons, but one of the biggest, is that it helps me self-regulate. Being able to share my thoughts, make sense of my thinking, ask questions, and express myself in a way that I cannot do otherwise, always makes me feel better. It makes me feel calmer. And by reducing my professional blog posts, out of necessity, for these past few weeks, I question now if this just increased my stress: hence, the heightened feelings of worry. I thought that I was helping myself, but now I wonder if I may have been doing the opposite.
I share this thinking because Kindergarten educators will be writing Communications of Learning again this year. Other educators will be writing report cards. And administrators will be proofreading hundreds of them (knowing that just proofreading my 33 took ten hours, it is the thought of their task that may stress me out most of all 🙂 ). I’m sure that I’m not alone in feeling stressed and worried about Communications of Learning/report cards. I’m also sure that I’m not alone in putting a hold on some activities in order to spend more time on them. But tonight I question …
- What are we choosing to put on hold? What might these decisions mean for our well-being?
- How are we finding the time, in the midst of our writing and/or proofreading, to do those things that help us self-regulate?
I’m not sure how, but I think we need to find this time. We deserve it. We’ll be calmer for it. And our colleagues, students, and families will all benefit from a calmer us. I am back to blogging again, and I know, that somehow, I will not be taking as long a break next term. Are you with me?