It’s time (First Draft)

So, I’ve been avoiding writing since my trip to Wales, feeling utterly inadequate to express the beauty I saw, the feelings I had, and the things I learned. So for now, I’m going to set aside all that inadequacy and merely begin again.

I’ve had to begin again over and over in my life. So far, feelings of inadequacy might paralyze me for a time, but somehow I keep fighting back. I have experienced it so many times, you’d think I’d finally learn that I’m not inadequate, but I’m not there yet.

I’m so appreciative of the community of educators (many whom I haven’t even met) who lift me up and inspire me daily as I read your blogs and tweets. I was reminded today by a teacher-friend that what we do is not about the content of what we teach, but about the lives of children we have in our care. It is not so much about what they are learning, but about how what they are learning is influencing what they can become. Is what I’m teaching today framed by love, humanity, and patience? Is framed the right word? Maybe it should be, Is what I’m teaching today nourished by love, humanity, and patience? Am I bringing hope into my work?

As I taught my minilesson today on thinking about people I know for my writing ideas, I was reminded that writing is hard, but so satisfying. I wrote a little piece in front of the students about my grandson, Josh. I was challenged to convey Josh’s particular sense of humor, his tenacity, and his almost 8-year old strength. It felt so good to practice–it’s time to write again.

It’s Time (2nd Draft when I thought I lost the first one)

Ever since I returned from Wales, I have been avoiding writing. Feeling utterly inadequate to express or describe the beauty I saw, the spirit of the people I met, and the sense of homeland, I just haven’t written. I’ve thought about trying to write to convey those experiences hundreds of times over the last few months. Paralyzed.

I decided tonight to put all that inadequacy aside and simply begin again. Perhaps at another time and place I will be able to write about Wales, but not yet.

It is amazing to me how feelings of inadequacy can keep me from doing things I enjoy and how often I have to fight back to do the thing I enjoy. (In this case, write.) I’m sure I’m not the only human being who struggles with this, but it is a fierce struggle. Beginning again and again and again seems to be what I do.

That makes me think about my students. How many of them are feeling inadequate and what could I do to help them want to keep trying? I realized writing this that it sounds funny to want to be “adequate.” So why is “inadequate” so powerful a label? If I work so hard to not be “inadequate,” will all I find is being “adequate?”

So I had to go to the dictionary to check word origin: Maybe adequate isn’t so weak after all. I like the idea of being equal to what is required. I’ll keep working on that.

Word Origin and History for adequate Expand
1610s, from Latin adaequatus “equalized,” past participle of adaequare “to make equal to,” from ad- “to” (see ad- ) + aequare “make level,” from aequus (see equal ). The sense is of being “equal to what is required.”