If you do something three times, does that make it a tradition? I think so. The first time I did this, it was mostly due to some frustrations with myself. The second time I did it, it was mainly to cement some thinking that had been jumping (bean style) in my head. I guess doing it a third time makes it habitual, but calling it a tradition just makes it sound classier. I’m still not down with resolutions, so here is my GOAL for 2011.
I’ve been thinking about this past year as one of the oddest I’ve experienced thus far. One of the more confusing, yet rewarding, periods in my life. (MOST confusing, and yet rewarding, year in my life award goes to…senior year of undergrad, hands down!…along with everything that immediately followed.) Maybe because it was a fairly successful year, and I’m still not the most confident of protagonists, I imagined that it would all disappear as quickly as it appeared, and that it would be one of those years that sort of hangs there, memorable yet fleeting. One firecracker explosion, jumping out bright, then sucked back into the dark night sky. The second half of the year has been all the more confusing because of that.
My goal for 2011 is to not forget that I’m still learning. One of the side-affects of this past year, I’ve noticed, is that I imagine (key word) that I now know everything there is to know about teaching. Or maybe it’s more that I imagine that I SHOULD now know everything, because it’s in no way an arrogant feeling. It’s that feeling you get when you accomplish something, and then you suddenly think you can do it twenty times over in the same sort of way, only with more poise. There should no longer be, I have thought, moments of confusion, moments of insecurity, moments where everything seems to go wrong. Last year I took those as givens. This year, I beat my head against the wall at my own (imagined) failings. I guess this is what true writer’s block must feel like. I can imagine the gymnast who pulls a hundred solid routines during practice, and suddenly falls on her face must feel this way, too. Having read so many times over about this same feeling through the eyes of athletes, and writers, and business leaders, etc., you would think I’d be smart enough to not fall into it myself. Or maybe I’m just smart enough to have finally realized it. Tomorrow comes regardless.
My goal for 2011 is to keep learning despite of that feeling. To keep learning because of that realization that I don’t know everything. To not be afraid to say that I don’t know, and consider that a black spot on my record. I’m a teacher, and even still, just like the majority of my students I forget that learning comes with hang ups. That bumps in the road are the very heart of understanding. My goal for 2011 is to keep on learning from those “mistakes”.