The Pressure to Keep Up

I found myself this summer really feeling the pressure to “keep up”. I know I’ve spoken at length about my year off, and I have no regrets about my leave, but as my time is dwindling, I have recently been feeling overwhelmed.

I know people use the cliche that you’ll be back into a routine before you know it and that it will hardly seem like you were gone, but I worry it will go beyond that. It also doesn’t take long to feel like you’ve been left behind with seemingly small changes: course outlines, curriculum tweaks, tech usage, popular and useful apps. Students aren’t the only ones returning to school with some anxiety!

While I won’t change my stance that I feel Twitter has been a phenomenal way for me to learn and connect, I also feel that in the past few weeks especially, reading my Twitter feed, I’ve been feeling vulnerable to the fear of not being able to hold my ground and keep my head afloat.

This anxiety of not being able to keep up has taken a toll on me and I’ve noticed a drop in confidence. The detrimental part of this was when a job opportunity became available, I was not at my best. It did not “present itself” to me in such the way that I knew I could take this challenge and run with it. I practically ran away from it.

As I continue to change in this profession, some of my attitudes do as well. Where in my younger days, I thought the idea of a mentor was unnecessary, now, as I pass the midway point in my career, I value that roll more and more. I have spoken about this in previous entries as well, because I find myself needing more guidance and help to navigate changes in me, the students, the school, and the profession.

While I have seen myself as willing to embrace change, I still have doubts. I wonder if the teachers who clearly aren’t adapting smoothly worry? I read on Twitter, I try new apps, I delve into online learning, and I still need guidance in the waters. Are we hearing all those who still haven’t been able to make these strides?

I have to deal with the fact that because of my fear and insecurity, I wouldn’t be good enough for a new and different job title, and that’s on me. I hope other teachers and educational staff don’t allow themselves to give in to their own self doubt, but put their best foot forward. My advice as someone who is navigating getting back on my “feet” is to not succumb to feeling the need to become everything you read. You can’t always have the best doorway, display walls, interactive lesson, rubric, engagement ratio. You can continue to make improvements, one thing at a time, while taking inspiration from others. Not comparing yourself to others, but seeking input and dare I say one more time, mentors.

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