Archive for August, 2013

On Second Thought (or Third, or Fourth…)

August 15, 2013


So the other night I wrote this post about leaving one position for another. At the time that I wrote it, I thought it was a pretty tight piece of writing, if I must say so myself.


I couldn’t help but look back over it and pick back over the words that I used. “Quiet desperation?” I guess that fits the meaning, but does it sound too dramatic for the tone of the piece? 

All I had to do was to reach back in and make another edit, another tweak here and there, and I could feel better about my writing. Clicking back on the “edit” link allowed me to see the history on that post. You know what I saw? Eleven sentences. Almost an hour. Over 20 revisions – a word here, a sentence there. Ouch.

I can that some of you out there are shaking your heads and wondering if there is some sort of chemical imbalance that forces me to obsess over my writing. Others of you are nodding your heads in agreement because you know you’re the one doing the same thing to your own creative work.

It’s funny how we talk so much about helping kids through their perfectionism. So much of what I do is teaching children to feel confident and satisfied with who they are and what they can do. And granted, we need to strive for quality, but at what point do we recognize that it’s time to let the work stand on its own? 

So here’s the experiment I’ll try. I’m going to finish typing this blog post, this one right here, and I’m going to walk away from it. One shot to put my writing together. One shot to craft my words. And then I shall release it. I shall be proud of and satisfied by my efforts.

Here goes. Deep breath.


The Switch

August 12, 2013


She shouldered her bag and glanced out at the tree, reflecting green in its early June growth.

Her mind ticked off a mental checklist. (She was always a lister.) Desk emptied. Car loaded. Keys turned in.

One more look around the room to take it all in, to absorb the light reflected from the emotional spectrum. The vibrant glow of voracious learning. The cool, clear trust between respected colleagues. The muted, quiet desperation of a teacher who saw herself slipping away from the person she wanted to be.

With equal parts strength and surrender, she turned out the light for what she knew would be the final time, and closed the door quietly behind.