To be reflective is to be filled with unending self-doubt.

There is a moment every day during which I consider whether teaching is the correct profession for me, whether I am too unyielding, too introverted, too unempathetic. Do I give everything I could possibly give? Am I incapable of extending myself further, or am I simply unwilling? Are my decisions best for my students, or best for me?

Such reckoning speaks to the quality of my colleagues, who push me everyday to consider whether the tack I take is the proper course. It speaks furthermore to the quality of my school environment and student body, challenging daily the strictures of my limited thought.

This self-doubt serves to partly explain the reluctance I have evidenced for writing during this–my fourth–school year, as to reflect on such weaknesses is like rubbing salt into an open wound. The other part of the explanation is that I have been exhausting my reserves in creating a curriculum which I have been stubbornly attempting to create from the ground up, as well as working as special education coordinator and learning the byzantine byways of special education service jargon, systems and regulations.

But such excuses will no longer serve. I am in danger of becoming complacent, fattened by the distance between my heart and my action. In recognition of this, I hereby resolve to be more reflective, even as it entails greater vulnerability, and may even take away from time I could be spending “being productive.”

There must be a balance.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

3 thoughts on “Doubt”

  1. Reflection could be one of the most productive things you do. I always remember this: At camp (you know that which I speak of) we perfected the art of reflection. When we went to the cities, we marveled at how fast people moved, how they never had time to reflect, never sat down to think, to just…be. And then we joined them, and became the same way. To slow yourself down, is to slow everything down and it makes for better ideas and plans and processes. Creativity and innovation blooms from boredom. Embrace inactivity. :) Looking forward to what comes out of that brilliant brain from your reflections, friend.

    1. Trenchant advice, my friend. Under the banner of “procrastination,” I have slowed myself down substantially over the course of this Winter Break. But even with the extra time spent doing little in terms of work, it still has taken me a lot of aimless loafing to come to the point of picking up my virtual pen and writing. In this sense, I do miss lonely nights of beer and whiskey saturated reflection in the wilderness, even if only for the spurts of reflective howling towards something unitary and beautiful underlying seemingly disparate and disconnected parts. Thanks for the reminder of the productive necessity of this defragmentation of the soul.

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