Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How About a Little Cheese With That Whine?

It's not right.
I'm not doing enough.
I'm not organized enough.


I am not liking how Creative Writing has been going. I don't feel prepared enough this year, and I think it's because I'm trying to do it all at once...

  • flipping the units
  • trying to be my own version of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher
  • not being perfect
  • conferring with 40 kids in two classes
  • 1:1 and going paperless (really? in a writing classroom?)
  • and, oh, yeah, my other five classes
I should be reading drafts for tomorrow, but instead, I'm whining in this blog post.
I should be at least voice commenting so they can really work on revising tomorrow, but instead I'm whining in this blog post.
I should be creating a video on getting rid of linking verbs and writing in active voice, but instead I'm whining in this blog post.

I'm really good at whining today.

I need a plan.

"Do you need it perfect or do you need it tomorrow?"  The line that keeps reverberating in my head. I kept hearing that at Flipcon when I was there in June. 

I need to record it and play over and over to myself until I get it. 
I need to make myself a daily schedule so I get my "homework" done.

Really, I'm as bad as some of my students. I let myself get off track a lot. It's easy--TV to watch, a Twitter chat, email to check, a blog post to write....

I need a plan. Really, I think I need a someone with a whip and a chair to keep me on track.

But on the other hand--I can't work 24/7. I do need some down time.

But how in the world will I ever get organized?

Enough whining--time to make a list!

See you next week.....


  1. "trying to be my own version of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher"


    From my rational perspective, I can see you are an amazing version of Deb Day, who totally rocks and has no need to work so hard to be a version of anyone else.

    However, from the depths of my whiny, overwhelmed teacher soul, I totally get this. I feel your pain. I can't shut up that awful voice in my head that keeps saying, "This isn't good enough," as if some administrator with a clipboard is constantly whispering it in my ear.

    Hang in there! And in the meantime, keep watching tv. It is good for the soul, if not the to-do list.

    1. Somehow, I knew you would get it. We have inservice today. I'll be able to work with my tribe and break through some of my roadblocks, I'm sure.

  2. Going paperless in a writing classroom? Completely? OMG! I cannot imagine. (I mean, as much as I've tried to go paperless in my writing life, I still need a pen and paper from time to time!)

    Good luck and hang in there!

  3. We are our own worst critic, so give yourself permission to chew on some of that cheese as you sip your wine and contemplate what needs to be done now and what can wait. The rhythm will develop and you will have a plan. Your students need a Deb Day to guide them.

  4. It's that little, okay BIG, voice that keeps talking to you instead of letting you shine the way you do. Love that getting off track, which I do so well (don't tell anyone else). I hope the whining helped, and we're all here behind you shouting "you're doing great things, Deb"!

  5. I completely understand what you are going through! I find myself making all these lists and never get anything done. At the end of the day, I look at what I've accomplished, and I think to myself: "How is it possible that I got so little done when I was so busy all day??" Hang in there- it'll get better.

  6. We all need a great whine now and then to jump start the doing...but we really are especially good at critiquing ourselves, so give yourself a break, Deb!

  7. It is impossible to be always positive. A dose of whining is healthy. Especially if you write it out in Deb Day style.

  8. Trying to be your own version of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher. I LOVE that line. Mine would be trying to be my own version of Katie Wood Ray. I think lots of us can relate to this post and know that it will pass. Sometimes we just need to get it out. :)

  9. Ever think that someone out there is trying to be a Deb Day? I'm pretty sure there are a few out there. You are an amazing, caring teacher - and that means being overly (and unjustifiably) critical of yourself! When you get tired of trying to be Penny and Kelly, go back to the default with a smile - Deb!

  10. Deb, we all have those days and what better place to share your whiny thoughts - here with those are experiencing the same feelings. Now that you've released these negatives, you can move forward with the positives. Tomorrow is another new day and new beginning.

  11. Deb, stop beating yourself up. Keep the reflections coming but breathe... you are doing great!

  12. This is a safe community to share your whines. We listen (you know from a safe distance)and give you an encouraging word (or more than that). We have faith in you! We know you can do what you need to do today (and finish the rest tomorrow)--even paperless in a writing class!

  13. Now...don't you just feel better!! It seems like your words share a common thread with many of us. I posted today about today being better than yesterday! May your tomorrow be a great day!

    1. I do, actually. And tonight I came home and got lots done!

  14. This actually makes me feel better because it is something we all go through! So when I do I will remember I am not alone.

  15. Mother...breathe. Take a moment at a time. Be present with where you are. But I know you feel better. A great teacher experiences all of those things on a daily basis. I think our tribe needs a war cry.