Monday, June 8, 2015

Knittiness Interruptus, or Can we return to normal programming??

I owe you an apology, I have been remiss in posting regularly this spring. Do you want to hear why? If yes, keep reading. If no, then repeat "Bladee-blah-blah-blah" until you get to a photo.

1. Things at work have been a tad unsettling. Like when someone whacks you in the knees with a baseball bat. And you can't get up. And there is moaning and teeth gnashing and feeling hopeless.
2. Sense of purpose, self-esteem and worthiness of claiming to be a teacher were constantly questioned during self-reflection.
3. Self-reflection seemed to take over the waking hours of my life.
4. Not much knitting, Ravelry browsing, or happy hands making went on. Not at all. (And you know that is my stress relief).
5. Many hours were spent: at work creating new lessons plans, after hours reorganizing my room, weekends shopping for novel materials for math lessons, and weekly in meeting with those who were to refocus my intentions.
6. Artifacts, do you know this term in relation to evaluations? Basically, it is a document or photo of work done by me or my students that serves to indicate change in the requested direction. Artifacts like syllabi, lesson plans, data collection, SWBAT goals posted (acronym = Student Will Be Able To)..... photos of students at work, a new format of tighter schedules for staff and students..... and the list goes on. And on. And on.
7. Data. That four letter word. I know we are to collect data. I do write narratives of student progress which illustrate what we work on, materials, settings and prompt levels, and student acquisition of skills. Numbers do not come to me naturally, nor do graphs or the analysis of the data. Slow learning curve here, I do admit it.
8. In the end, the work paid off. The refocus and redefinition of what I do and how I do it was satisfactory. It came together and the reward was to be found as a Proficient Teacher rather than one needing improvements across all domains. But I am not off the hook and smooth sailing into the future. I will be monitored and redirected as needed. Ah well.... change is good, right? Those hard lessons learned and all that?

Do I look happy now? (slurped from wikipedia, knitting)
Hi! Hi! Hi!
I am back to blog writing and I pledge to you, that at the very least, I will post once a week. Leave me a comment if I get too chatty, I promise to scale back.

I have done a stream of consciousness thread before and a number of you liked it. So here are just some of the things I have been wanting to write about.
  • Exposing my stash of yarn and needles.    
  • Planning some Knit Down the Stash Projects.....  
  • Sharing how I made a crochet button necklace. 
  • Ideas for whittling down my Queue and Hibernating Projects. 
  • Wool and pattern piggery.   
  • Patterns I like. 
  • Making a Twiddle-Muff.  
  • Zippers, fabric and new project bags for the Etsy shop. 
  • Books and magazines.  
  • Podcasters. 
  • Indy dyers. 
  • WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays. 
  • Shops I like. 
  • Designer interviews. 
  • Maine, my happy place. 
  • Upcoming events. 
  • Common Cod Fiber Guild. 
  • (Specifically, Abby Franquemont will be speaking and teaching at Common Cod in July)!!!!
So I will end with a story behind this push to get going again. Do you have friends you know only in the internets? You know you do, there is no shame in admitting it here, we know 99% of all knitters are zen cool and open and generous. There is no shame here. (Except, in my case, most all of my friends are that imaginary internets type, but I digress).

I met up with an internet acquaintance today. Specifically, at the Thinking Cup in the North End. Such a cool spot, check it out if you ever visit Boston. Imogen is a knitter, singer, teacher and a purveyor of yarn from the UK. She has reached out to me in the past with an invite to meet up and chat. I am guilty of pleading the shy card on prior invitations, and I am glad to say, today I pushed through and met her for a cup of tea. I am not going to go into detail, but more on this topic will follow in the Shops I Like category. 

Imogen has been the muse for me a few times; she has written to ask why I had stopped writing and would I please post again? She inboxed me on Ravelry as she said farewell to Boston while she sat at Logan and waited for her flight. And adding, "I hope we can meet up next time...."  In chatting with her this afternoon, I realized that I have let work and worries interrupt the one thing that makes me happy, sharing my knitting finds and creations here on the blog. Thank you Imogen for knocking on my mailbox with notes of encouragement and interest.

Happy Knitting! See you soon. Image imported from Pinterest.)

4 comments:

Stephanie Rickel said...

My husband is a high school math teacher, so I understand the stress and anxiety of evaluations, artifacts and data. It's wonderful that with knitting we can "evaluate," if you want to call it that, ourselves with stitches, one stitch after another. We see the small progress that leads to a FO. Somehow, data doesn't capture the growth of a student in such an elegant way, so we press on measuring student growth with data and dream of a new, more elegant system in the future. Congrats on being deemed proficient, and good wishes for the future.

We are moving to Boston soon, and the stress of my husband looking for teaching jobs seems almost as bad as the actual mess of evaluations and data! I have to remember to take life as I take my knitting, one stitch at a time.

JoyceG said...

I am a MA native that was forcefully uprooted (ha) by my husband's job and moved 3000 miles west. We've had to move again since that first time 18 years ago, and the only friends I've made (now that I don't have kids at home to facilitate that process) have been through meet-ups with internet acquaintances and knitting. I don't know what I'd do without those outlets.

Thank you for being a teacher, and a proficient one at that!

elns said...

Hey, I just want you to know I'm guessing most of us understand that life pulls at us and we have to re prioritize sometimes. It doesn't mean we aren't cheering for you, if you're not posting as much.

But yeah, I find if I don't make an effort to put in a few rows even when sh*t is hitting the fan I'm really creating more stress for myself than less. Just a few sock rounds even seem to provide a "safe" place that allow me to physically distract and sigh.

I have been in your same sounding position more than once.

Wishing you those smooth sails...

Lisa C. said...

So glad to see you posting again. I do really look forward to your posts and have missed them. Sorry to hear that work was such a weight for awhile. Hopefully that stress is behind you, and you can embrace your fiber with a lightness now. It is very obvious that you are a creative person! I look forward to WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays, too!