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One Word: Consistency

This year, I have decided to focus both my professional and personal life on consistency. Not the kind in which everything is the same with no interesting variations (think factory-produced rubber ducks on an assembly line), but the kind of consistency that is a habit. In a good way, not in the, “I should hang up my coat but the closet is 20 feet away so I’ll just leave it on the couch like I always do,” kind of way.

rubber ducks Rubber duckies So many ducks” by gaetanleehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/gaetanlee/298160434/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Like any educator, I am always working on several different things at once. It’s not really a problem; I love multi-tasking. It keeps my interest and creativity high when I am consistently forced to change my focus. The problem is that I have a less-than-stellar record about returning to what I was working on before that new thing came toddling down the lane. I always complete everything I have to, but I would like to be more consistent, finishing what I start, making what I create match my vision of what it should be, and doing regularly those tasks that should be done regularly.

For example, part of my job includes developing resources to support teachers in my district. I created a website on book trailers and finished all the sections needed to do the professional development I was facilitating. The website is good, but I had other materials on additional tools and have not yet added those sections (note to self: work on book trailer site next week). Similarly, I was planning on writing more frequently on this blog and even posted about it last May. I haven’t done that, but I am going to try again. I am joining the #youredustory blogging challenge because I hope that the support of this community of bloggers will help me improve my practice by encouraging me to reflect better and more deeply on what I do and who I am as a teacher.

And just in case you were wondering, in my personal life, the two main areas in which I am struggling to be more consistent are exercising and filing paperwork. Suggestions for ways to address any of these issues are welcomed.

7 thoughts on “One Word: Consistency

  1. That is a great word. I love how you define consistency as “habit.” It was so much easier to have daily routines or habits when I was a classroom teacher. Something about that structure of the bell ringing. I find this year, since I am out of the classroom, I don’t have a set routine and I am trying to adapt to this new way of my work day. I too, want to build in some consistent exercise as well! Best wishes for 2015 and I am so excited you are a part of the Share #YourEdustory challenge.

    1. I agree it is harder to be consistent when you are not in the classroom. I think I just have to make lots of lists and work on things as I have time. If you didn’t live so far away, we could work out together! Maybe we could be long-distance support for each other.

  2. “The problem is that I have a less-than-stellar record about returning to what I was working on before that new thing came toddling down the lane.”

    I can totally relate. I can get distracted easily by a shiny new project and forget what I’m supposed to be doing. I started making prioritized to do lists. It definitely helps hold me accountable. Check out http://www.bulletjournal.com/. I’ve been using some of the concepts and they help. . Good luck!

  3. I love your word! I have been teaching for just over 20 years and I have to say, I have NEVER been as excited about the path education seems to be taking, as I am right now. I love all the many new ways to connect with educators both globally and locally. But along with that excitement and connectivity, there is a down side…distraction! I too, am finding it difficult to follow through and finish projects or activities because something new and “shiny” catches my eye and then I’m off in a different direction. Hopefully, the #YourEdustory crew can help and support each other!

  4. I had to laugh as I was reading your post, Nancy, because I kept interrupting my reading to jump over to another tab (Twitter! Facebook! Email!). I am honest with my students and tell them that if I have a job to do online, I have to close all the other tabs or I won’t be able to concentrate. So – there you go – that’s my one suggestion for being consistent with whatever task is at hand: close all the other “tabs,” whatever they may be. (I guess for me, if I want to be consistent with exercise, I need to close the “sleep” tab. That’s a tough one…)

    1. I can identify, as I also suffer from the dreaded too-many-tabs disease. I know there are applications that help you focus on one thing at a time, but I haven’t tried any of the them. Closing the “sleep” tab is a challenge for me, but you are right that it is necessary if you want to be consistent with exercise.

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