Having not posted a blog in awhile, I thought of a good challenge. 33 Chapters. 33 Days. 33 Reflections. I have not been back to visit Jonathan Kozol's On Being A Teacher in years, definitely before I began my doctoral program in 2011. In the months after completing my dissertation defense, I have been at some kind of stop-gap. One of my advisors said that I would feel tremendous anxiety having so much free time. "No" was an answer I often gave and instead went to Starbucks and sat in front of my computer for hours transcribing audio files, coding data, and writing.
Now that it's done, I find myself doing a lot of nothing but sitting and thinking. School is out. I am not teaching summer school. What have I really accomplished? My peers and family are proud and yet I feel a sense of incompleteness. Studying for five years with some of the smartest and most compassionate teachers, colleagues, activists, mentors, and friends filled a gap I discovered after five years of teaching. Just five months later, it is happening again.
What does it mean to be a teacher?
Thus, my personal challenge. You'd think that instead of 33 days of reading and writing about be better spent doing 33 days of activity. I did a little searching and found a great TedTalk by Matt Cutts about 30 Day Challenges. I will heed his advice and not take on too much; however, I like the 30 minute walk. It might be cheating when I am on vacation for two weeks, because I promise to do a lot of walking.
There will be a brief gap in my responses when I am gone; however, that time I set aside to do some inward searching. When I have Internet, I'll post. When I don't, journaling will suffice. Today this journey begins. I hope that this challenge turns to dialogue and invites others to explore along with me.