Tag Archives: Reflection

Confessions of a rebounding blogger

img_9726Looking back through my posts, one topic that emerges the most is my lack of blogging. Candidly, this is in direct opposition to my firm believe that educational leaders must take risks and model what we hope to see in others. It makes my cries that everyone has something to share and our voices are valuable seem just a bit hypocritical, don’t you think? As George Couros noted in Blogging is your job, “If you see reflection as crucial to what you do, don’t find time; schedule time.” So here I am with my mocha, an R & B playlist and a pile of work I can tend to later.

Over the past couple years, I’ve gotten to know Jennifer Kloczko through our #LeadWild Voxer group. This summer we finally had the opportunity to meet in person, and I’m more than excited for some upcoming projects we’ll tackle together. Aside from being school leaders, we shamelessly share a love of Justin Timberlake. Can you blame us? This weekend, Jennifer shared more musical goodness through her post Leadership Lessons #maroon5. Before getting to those lessons, she, too references George’s post about blogging. Jennifer writes, “You see, I write blog posts in my head all the time. When I’m walking, and driving– inspiration is everywhere. And once in awhile a post makes it out of my head and onto the page.” I can totally relate to blogging in my head, but blogging in my head doesn’t help anyone but me. To be honest, it doesn’t even help ME as much as getting my words on a page. As I updated other parts of my blog tonight, I couldn’t help but reread old posts…old posts with words I barely remember writing but very much needed to read.

This is the part where I’d typically make a grand statement about being back on the blog train for good. Instead, I’m going to hit Publish (before I overthink this) and put that next writing time on my calendar! What are you doing to protect your reflection and sharing time?

I can do this

In the Fall of 2010, I enrolled in a doctoral program in Educational Administration at Northern Illinois University. Today, I spent this afternoon in  DeKalb to observe a dissertation defense for a candidate with the same committee chair and a quantitative study. While I’m likely a year+ from that step myself, I needed to see someone successfully navigate that process. I needed to remind myself that I can do this. Now here I am writing ABOUT my dissertation, when I probably should be writing my dissertation itself. All in the name of reflection, right?

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a bit about my decisions, the challenges, and the benefits here. Since then, I completed my final two courses, passed my comprehensive exams, and started my dissertation work. The exams were pretty stressful, and I was glad to put them in the rear-view mirror on my first attempt. And while I was pleased to reach the milestone of completing my coursework, I found myself having some mixed feelings. As a mom and a principal, I feel the weight of my responsibility to those I serve at home and at school. Often that is a  positive, but it certainly isn’t without challenge. For that time on Saturday, though, I selfishly felt responsible only for myself and found myself in the company of others at a similar stage in life trying to balance the same things I tried to balance. It was a comfortable place to be, and I miss that part of the experience.

Since then, I’ve changed school districts and started my dissertation. I was fortunate to find a chair and a methodologist so I could begin fine-tuning my study. Some members of my cohort still check in from time to time; one friend, Brent Anderson, and I check in more regularly and made the trek today to see that defense, talk about our experience and progress, and enjoy the local nachos. At some point in today’s conversation, and in most that we have on this topic, I find myself saying, “We can totally do this.” Watching a candidate present and respond from questions to her committee was really helpful and encouraging. As we were there to observe, the chair and committee members explained some parts of the process to add to our learning. In that moment, I feel okay. In the moments where I’m focused on my next step, I feel okay. When I think about all that happens between my next step and that last step, I feel a little less than okay. I’m guessing that’s a normal part of the process, although I assure you it isn’t my favorite part.

salonwritingMy plan?

Keep focusing on that next step with the knowledge that I’ll reach my end goal. Continue those support and accountability conversations with my friends and colleagues who are working through the process as well. Be disciplined as I work toward my own graduation target of May 2015. And keep taking photos of the random places I work on my dissertation, giving credit to Brent who started this. I’m sure it’ll make for a lovely collection someday!