Ever feel like a Jack of all trades, master of none? Me too. Well, actually more like a Jane of all trades, master of none. Look, I even found the t-shirt.
Maybe it’s the nature of education, or maybe it’s caused by my scattered brain that moves at 200 miles a minute, but I often feel like I know a little about a lot but rarely do I feel like I know enough about any specific thing. And, when we are feeling unbalanced because what we want isn’t matching what we are getting, we have three choices–change what we want, change what we are getting, or remain frustrated.
For me, remaining frustrated is not an option, so I focus on the other two choices…changing what I want or changing what I am getting. And, I think in this case, the solution lies somewhere in between. In reality as an elementary principal, it is important to know at least a little about a lot. I mean, at one point in my principalship I actually led a student-run coffee shop and learned how to run a small business AND be a barista in addition to my other principal duties. As educators, we have to do all the things. Yet, it is also important to dive deep into the things that feed our passions and keep us going.
This weekend I attended the very first Teach Better Conference, and it was incredible. Not only did I get to share the #SerendipityEDU message and attend inspiring sessions, I was also able to hang out with really smart (and fun) educational leaders from across the country. In fact, one of my biggest takeaways from the conference was from a quick conversation I had with Joshua Stamper at a restaurant. I was complimenting him on his podcast, which, by the way, if you haven’t listened yet, be sure to check it out because it is phenomenal and I love Josh’s soothing voice. I recommend starting with Episode 21. Anyway, we were talking about how much work goes into it and how he makes it happen each week and he said something that I can’t stop thinking about. He said that he is focusing on just that one thing because he loves it and he knows that he can only do one thing to that level right now.
The other thing I can’t stop thinking about is Dave Burgess’ new commitment to blogging every week. I have been struggling with weekly blogging and it has tapered off to once or twice a month lately. I love to blog, but I have allowed other things to distract me from making it happen on a weekly basis. Dave wrote about his renewed commitment to blogging in this post and it really resonated with me. Between Joshua’s message to hone in on doing one thing that you love really well and Dave’s message that we will always find time to do what we commit to doing, light bulbs started going off in my head.
I like to podcast, I like to make videos, I like trying new things, but what do I LOVE to do? What can I not live without? What will I NEVER retire from? It always comes back to writing. I am not saying that I will never try new things or that I will stop making videos (‘cuz we all know that will never happen), but what I am saying is that I am not going to let those things get in the way of doing what I love–doing what fuels my soul and not only helps me become a better educator but a better person. Writing is my ride-or-die, and this Jane of all trades will still do all the things, but will write about them too. Every week. My promise to me.