Monday, August 8, 2011

Evaluating or Obsessing

This weekend I was fortunate enough to be a part of the TBC Weekday Early Education Conference. It was a great event. I always enjoy mixing and mingling with other early childhood leaders. It was fun.

I lead two conferences. One was about using technology (computers, digital cameras, etc.) to create teaching resources and to connect with parents and other teachers. We had a good exchange of ideas. The other conference as about teaching boys--characteristics, needs, how to engage them, how their brains are different from girls, etc. I think it went okay.

But then I began to reflect and think about things. This was the first time I had led the boys conference. And I thought about the things I should have said; the things that probably should be skipped or minimized when I lead it again; the things that should be done in a different way. And I thought about it and thought about it. Saturday night...all day Sunday...even this morning. How I wished the conference had flowed a little differently so we could spend more time on the practical aspects of teaching boys.

Now I think that evaluating is very important. I want to learn from every experience I have and everything I do - the good and the bad. But I decided that this had become more obsessing instead of evaluating - and more about judgment instead of learning. I scrutinized and magnified all those details. I had made some mistakes and identified some improvements. But I had also had some successes and some good comments from the attenders.

I thought about my kids. Do they go home and think: I wish I had not placed those last two blocks on my structure. Or I should have made three more strokes of blue paint on my painting. Or Why didn't I tell them about my swimming pool.

No, kids jump into the moment, live in it, and move on to the next one. And that's what I want to do when I lead conferences or when I teach. I want to think about and evaluate - I am a reflective person after all. Jot down (mentally or physically) anything that needs adjusting. And then release it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm constantly amazed at how much I learn from working with children. I think it's important for all educators to be reflective about our teaching practice, but as you say, there's a big difference between reflecting and obsessing. Holding our thoughts, ideas and reflections with an open hand (instead of a clenched fist) is a valuable skill to work with. Thanks for your effort to accept, appreciate and learn from what you've done so you can improve in the future - from one educator to another, it's meaningful practice!