Better Late Than Never, Right?

So, late in 2016 – my friend and colleague Matt (@MatthewWeld) and I had a conversation about how we both wanted to blog more. We had just completed a Twitter challenge, and through our discussion came up with the idea of #12monthsblogging writing challenge.

Over the holiday break, I brainstormed some possible topics and questions, and he put everything together into this great blog post creating month graphic and question starters. If I haven’t been clear enough – he did pretty much all of the work.

Fast forward to today, February 14th, and I haven’t posted a single blog. Which brings me to the question – should I still do it? I’m well past the “due date” of January for my first blog about the generic topic of “The Teaching Profession”. What good will it do now??

Here’s the thing – it will still do a lot of good. The process of being reflective about practices is valuable whether I am completing it in January, February or December.

In other words – I can still learn from the assignment even if it’s “late”.

I have to wonder, if I were being graded on this practice and had already long ago earned a zero (we are 14 days into February after all), would I still do it? Would I still be engaging this reflective practice? Would I be so overwhelmed that I’m almost two blog posts behind that I would shut down on the whole project?

As teachers, we ask kids to do a lot of things – some have a lot of value, some have not so much. If in the end, it doesn’t matter if they do the activity or not – why are we even asking them to do it in the first place? And, if it does matter that they complete the assignment, why do we create systems that allow for them to opt-out?

I’m not sure I really have an answer to these questions. I do think that as educators we have a responsibility to our students when they are not completing work to really think about it. I have to ask myself, as their teacher, what am I doing to both support and stifle their learning processes.

I feel like we need to encourage students to engage in the experience I had today. Yes, I’m well past the due date, but there is learning value in this activity – so I’m going to do it anyway. Learning for learning’s sake. No grade is given, no money is earned – but here I am (at the public library no less) typing away – a true life-long learner.

So many of us have that in our school or district mission statements, but do we really create school experiences that help students get to this point?

Lots of questions today, but not many answers. Thanks for reading my post, even though it’s late.

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