The simple realization that changes everything.
“Everything, without exception, requires additional energy and order to maintain itself” -Kevin Kelly “The Inevitable”
If you have the good fortune of working in education, you plan and you organize and things can still fall apart in your classroom. The computer doesn’t work, the internet goes out, the lesson goes awry, the students decide to check out of the lesson… many things can go wrong and some go wrong all the same time.
Your classroom and your life require regular maintenance. I’m not talking about dusting the shelves and I’m not talking about fixing things around yourself. While both of these things are important in their own right, they are an easy target for maintenance.
Your classroom and you life need maintenance that goes beyond tweaking and fixing and cleaning. You need to re-envision what you are doing both at work and at home. If things keep falling apart, if things need energy and time to stay in order, what do you do?
Become comfortable with this simple idea: you will never catch up.
You will never keep up with technological advances. You will never stay ahead of shifts in educational policy. You will never communicate with your families enough. You will never be done learning. You will never be done evolving as an educator. You will never stop changing.
Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Understand that some things are out of your hands, and that all you can do is make the next, best choice.
I beg you to not look at this idea with despair, but rather invert the concept. You will never catch up and that’s okay. Instead of planning endlessly for the future and all of it’s permutations, embrace change and uncertainty.
Understanding that you can only make the next, best choice can be freeing. It can unshackle you from the drudgery of the day or the anxiety of tomorrow. When confronted with the next choice, work to match the choice to your values and move on.
Become comfortable with being uncomfortable, no matter how hard it is.