Well, I failed my 30-day challenge.

Okay, wait, let’s reframe that. I gave myself a challenge of writing for 30 days consecutively. The intention behind it was to help me reconnect with blog and (re)find my writing voice. Over the course of the past year and a half, working on my book has directed most of my energy towards writing it, reviewing it, revising it, and rewriting sections and chapters. Something had to give, and it was certainly my blog that gave.

Over the past fifteen days, a lot has happened through this challenge. We’ve talked about worthiness, goal-setting, and the over-emphasis on classroom aesthetic; we’ve had some critical conversations about culture and flexible seating; we’ve even touched a bit on teacher wellness and socio-emotional learning. The diversity of topics and the sheer volume of my thoughts has helped me both rediscover my writing voice and watch evolve as I shift into what will be my tenth year of teaching.

True challenges are not supposed to be easy. True challenges are not going to be accomplished perfectly. And at the end of the day, when we challenge ourselves to do something new, we must be kind to ourselves, be flexible, and see beneath the manifestation of the goal we’ve set for ourselves. We must, instead, connect with the spirit and intention of the goal first and foremost.

No, I’m not trying to make excuses for myself.

The fact of the matter is, I still didn’t succeed–at least in full capacity–on my 30-day writing challenge. But that doesn’t mean it’s been a total loss, and that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up.

The truth is, I almost wrote this weekend, and the absolute truth is, I probably could have made some time to write on Saturday and Sunday, but I specifically chose not to. I chose not to because it was my bachelor party this weekend.

I am notorious for being unable to unplug from work–and I’ve always been that way. I answer e-mails late at night and on the weekends; I use my Saturday mornings to assess student work or write. It seems like teaching and learning are always relentlessly on my brain.

But this past weekend, I had this amazing group of people spend a ton of time and energy on me, working tirelessly to make me feel special. Sure, it was my weekend, and I’m sure if I asked them or simply told them I needed time to write, they would have given it to me.

But it just didn’t feel worth it.

As teachers, we’re too often conditioned to believe that we must give our whole selves to our craft. So many of us are convinced that we’re not good enough teachers if we’re not putting our classrooms and our students above everyone and everything else in our lives. But when we live our lives this way, we burn out quickly.

And so this past weekend, I proudly failed my 30-day challenge. It was a success, in a way, indicative of the ways I’ve grown over the past ten years, a sign that I’ve managed to reprioritize and put the people who matter most to me first.

And let me tell you, it was a FUN weekend. My best friend, Rachael, is an incredible wedding planner and, of course, left no stone unturned. Pics below, and looking forward to picking this back up and talking about more teaching topics tomorrow!

Take care of yourselves, folx, and don’t wait until next summer to do it!


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