It would be wrong to say that I don't care about blogging. But on some level, I really don't take it all that seriously. It's fun. It's a way to get my thoughts out and connect with fellow teachers. However, on occasion, I have tried too hard to be serious or say something profound and the result is something preachy or condescending.
The same is true of writing. My first novel, Drawn into Danger, was too wordy and abstract and preachy. It didn't go anywhere. It wasn't fun to read. And the result was something that was forgettable. As I work on early chapter book Wendell the World's Worst Wizard, I find that the process is different. I'm into the process, but I'm having fun. I realize that the book gets goofy at times and that's okay. I'm writing it with the hopes that it's fun to read.
So, I'm only about a week into the school year and, on some level, I'm not taking it too seriously. I know, I know. This is a profound profession and a meaningful calling. I get to shape minds. I take it seriously. And yet . . . the best lessons happen when I'm having fun. Our best projects often begin with a certain level of joy and a lack of self-consciousness. Furthermore, I lead best when I smile and laugh and use humor.
I know that there are times when we have to take our jobs seriously. These are the moments of intense debate or the times when a child is in crisis and turns to you for help. But, I'm realizing that there's this opposite side of not taking ourselves too seriously, of laughing, of pursuing fun.