Do what you can. Share what you can.

So, who are you going to be?

Teaching is reallly a 24/7 job as is parenting.  So much to do!  It is overwhelming. 

I think as you look at blogging or twittering or sharing anyplace online it is important to keep one thing in mind:

Share what you can, when you can and that is enough.

There is no doubt, often, I'm a binge blogger.  I've cut back on nightime blogging to be here for my children. I have a first grader and reading to him every night is a top priority — 30 minutes to 1 hour a night with him – without exception.  Lots of other bloggers out there who will write, but none of them will read to my 7 year old – that is MY job.

Sometimes people say, “how do you do so much?”

What they don't know is I often feel like “how do I do so little?”

Behind on my email – a list of 100 things to do, so much going.  Everyone else seems to have time for webinars, courses, and conferences.

And yet, like the reading with my son, when my students walk in my room, I am 100%, totally theirs.  I give all I have, all I am, and everything that I have to them for that 50 minutes or so and again, during my planning.  I am theirs.

Some would say it is the tyranny of the urgent, but rather, I believe it is the importance of the urgent.  Someone must look at these kids and let them know how important and precious they are.

Sure, I'd love to be some amazingly relevant, super inspirational blogger and really, my goal is that someone out there needs encouragement. That is what I want to be.

I share my bookmarks and have Diigo auto post it.  I use twitterfeed to auto post my blog posts to my twitter feed.  I schedule blog posts ahead of time to spread things out.  Whatever it takes to automate, and be helpful.  I really enjoy blogging and writing and wish I had more time to do it.

However, there is one way to discourage yourself and drop out of EVERYTHING — and that is to focus on others.  If you look at others and what they're doing, it is easy to feel tiny and insufficient. It is easy to feel inadequate and unimportant.

But, if that is the case, when I feel that, I have to ask myself:  “Why am I doing this?” 

Really, it isn't about me or any of us. 

But that somehow, if we share and help one another move ahead and improve and encourage each other to keep going, then we've accomplished something.

My wise granny always said, “Sometimes you've gotta let the rough end drag.”

Your best is good enough. 

Keep the main thing the main thing but keep on going. 

Don't let your self-comparison of yourself to others let you get down and quit.   

Your blog post, your tweet, though it may be less frequent than a complete cycle of moon phases is still a contributor to the entire equation.

Keep it up, teacher.  Keep sharing.  Do what you can.  Share what you can.

Know that teaching is the most noble calling on earth! 

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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5 comments

Marie Rush March 24, 2009 - 1:59 pm

You inspire me! Thanks for taking the edge off!

Mike March 24, 2009 - 11:55 pm

Great post. I hear all the time, “where do you find the time?” Then I hear the same people who ask that question quoting lines from the latest episode of “House.” People waste more time than I think they are aware of. It’s what Clay Shirky calls the “cognitive surplus.”

A former colleague of mine used to refer to it as “the art of day-sculpting,” treating each day like a block of marble to be made into something beautiful. That means planning ahead but also dealing with the little surprises that come up and incorporating them into the whole. Whether it’s reading to your kids or writing a blog post once in a blue moon, as teachers I think we recognize that our art is turning off the TV and using some of that cognitive surplus to help others learn and make meaning in life.

Dr. Larry Anderson March 25, 2009 - 12:57 pm

Vicki–

You are such an inspiration — to so many of us who are toiling in the metaphorical fields. The message in your blog is one of hope and possibility, if only we pledge to strive for higher planes. Thank you for your perpetual encouragement, but also for your provocative offerings. I surely would love for my 8-month-old grandson to have you for a teacher someday!

Dave Carlson March 26, 2009 - 2:15 am

I found you by way of Linda Wadman on Twitter, who is among 350 or so participants in More Things on a Stick, sponsored by Minnesota Multilevel Multitype Libraries. I’m retired, neither a librarian nor a teacher, but closely connect to both in the Little Marais/Finland/Silver Bay area.

One question. What template are you using? I want three columns and a wide space for posting.

See my two: partlydave.blogspot.com and
partlydave.wordpress.com

Vicki A. Davis March 31, 2009 - 3:00 am

Hi, Dave. I actually adapted this template from a free one I found somewhere (think the link is at the bottom) – I hand write my html. ;-) OK, so I’m a geek.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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