Sunday, January 19, 2014
Thanks to the #nerdlution Community!
So, #nerdlution began in November. A group of us started chatting about goals and I decided I'd try to do something (or 3 things) daily for 50 days. The 50 days was random but it sounded rational. I was amazing for 20 days. I ate an apple every day, I ran or walked for 20 minutes each day, and I wrote for 30 minutes each day. This was all in crazy December so I tried to fit lots in before work. I figured the 2 week break at the holidays would make #nerdlution easy! But that's not what happened. First I got a huge canker sore from the apples, then my husband got sick with the flu, the the puppy stopped sleeping through the night and so I took a few days' break from my #nerdlution goals. And I never got back to them......20 days and then I pretty much quit. It's kind of how 2013 went for me overall and it is what it is.
But I consider #nerdlution a success and the 50 day challenge has made me think about communities we create in our classrooms in new ways. I've realized that I've learned and grown a ton by sitting on the sidelines these last few weeks. That even though I wasn't meeting my personal goal, I still felt part of the #nerdlution community. No one kicked me out of the community, even when I wasn't doing my part. There is something important about that. It reminds me of workshop, where everyone in the room learns from others' goals and the progress others are making. And that you are part of that community whether you are participating or sitting on the sidelines watching.
I am amazed by how much I learned by sitting on the sidelines:
-I didn't choose a goal for commenting on blogs but when I watched Kevin comment for 50 days on 50 different blogs, I decided I needed to visit new blogs and to be a better commenter. I almost NEVER comment on blogs and I typically visit the same blogs each week. I didn't set a goal and didn't do anything consistently but being part of Kevin's #nerdution helped me change a few of my blog reading habits...just a little. I am finding new blogs and also commenting a tiny bit more because of watching Kevin meet his #nerdlution goal.
-I didn't choose Random Acts of Kindness but Patrick did and when I'd read his daily posts, I realized how much I'd been caught up in getting stuff done instead of doing kind things for others. Even though I didn't choose this as a goal, listening in on Patrick's #nerdlution progress helped me to take a breath and be a little kinder during the hectic holiday season. And just by being kinder, I slowed down and enjoyed the days better than the days that I spend rushing around and I still got as much done.
-I didn't choose to read for pleasure, but Clare did and I realized that one of these days, I wanted to give myself a round of #nerdlution that was just for me. An excuse to do the one thing I love to do but don't always make time for. I was jealous of Clare's nerdlution each time I was eating an apple. Not in a bad way, but in a way that let me know it is something I want to do in the future. Although I read a lot, giving myself to read for pleasure for an hour every day seems like a goal I'll have someday soon.
-I saw the power of cheerleaders like Kevin and Bonnie. These two, along with others, seemed to somehow cheer everyone on. It would make a difference and I realized again how much you need some cheering when things get tough.
-I loved that Betsy chose a #nerdlution she was already passionate about and made it a daily thing. It seemed like a real treat for her to try a #chalkabration each day. Seeing her daily chalkabration helped me bring more of this into my classroom when it felt right--rather than waiting for an official #chalkabration day.
-I loved how Mary Lee tweaked her #nerdlution to be 5 days a week and wondered why I hadn't thought of that! Even though I was part of the group that invented #nerdlution, I never thought to give myself permission to revise it to make it work for me.
-I appreciated tweets from others who had missed some days or those who couldn't find time to fit in their #nerdlution over the holidays. The honesty of how things were going helped me think about the goals I was setting and whether they were really realistic.
-Because of #nerdlution, I jumped into things that I never would have. I picked a OLW for 2014 because I saw the power of a long-term focus and saw the connection to what I was trying to do with #nerdlution.
So, I learned a lot from the #nerdlution sidelines. Even though I didn't meet my #nerdlution challenge, the #nerdlution community taught me what was possible. And even though my goals were focused on fitness and writing, I grew in other areas too, because I felt part of everyone's goals.
I also learned about goal setting and what makes sense for me. Even though I didn't meet my #nerdlution goal, my habits have changed a little and I've learned how to set a better goal for Round 2 of #nerdlution. I've learned that I can't commit to anything for 7 days a week (and that's okay). I've learned that goals that are overambitious don't actually work for me (took me 50 years to figure that out...) I've learned that 5:00 am isn't such a bad time to be awake and there is something wonderful about spending the first hour of the day reading, writing or walking. I've learned that cheering others on, actually changes me too. I've learned what is possible in terms of goal setting. I loved the variety of goals people had and I loved the way the goals impacted others.
#Nerdlution didn't turn out the way I had hoped it would. I did not even come close to meeting my goals. But sitting on the sidelines for the last 30 days and watching others in this community have had a huge impact on the way I live my life.
And, I can't help but think of the reading and writing communities in our classrooms. Those kids who seem to be sitting on the sidelines, are learning from being part of the community --learning what's possible. Sometimes it might be enough for them
So, as I go into #nerdlution Round 2, I've discovered that goal setting is a process and I meet some goals and I don't meet others. But I learn things we didn't expect along the way, thanks to community. These were things I have always known but things that became so clear to me during these last 50 days.
Congratulations to everyone on this first round of #nerdlution and thanks for letting me learn from all of you!
Posted by Franki at 6:43 AM