Currently a department co-chair and co-director with the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project, Brian Kelley has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade for over twenty years.

Recharging the Battery

Recharging the Battery

If you have a digital device, you have experienced some level of anxiety over battery life. So much drains our batteries. Apps that never sleep. WiFi, processors, iOS search systems constantly consume power. We have left or lost our chargers. We have hunted for the table by the outlet in the coffee shop. Many people still sit on the floor at airports just to be able to power up. Kiosks to charge our batteries continue to pop up in some public spaces.

What recharges a teacher's battery? As we wade through the dog days of summer, rest may be at top of many lists. Yet, I wonder if rest is recharging. Rest matters. I certainly needed to power down for a bit. And I still take advantage of the time to relax and not think about teaching or writing. But rest--shutting it off--is not a recharge. Rest is cutting off that which drains our battery.

I could not possibly rest every day. Some teaching-related connections were scheduled through June, July, and August. I have to plug in. It is just the way I am wired.

For me, recharging the battery includes positive connections made at workshops and conferences. Reading professional literature sparks my thinking. Engaging with other teachers about teaching--whether as a presenter or as a participant--is like plugging into a much needed outlet. Finally, writing brings everything together. All of my internal apps and processors are humming when I write. Writing is reflection and projection. Writing allows me to consider where I have been and where I am going next.

And this is why I need to read professionally during the school year. It is why I need to write during the school year. It is why I need to attend workshops and conferences. Those acts do not drain me. They recharge me.

I could not possibly recharge by remaining powered down or just letting all of my apps hum and do their thing. Eventually, without a recharge, I do run out battery life and shut down. 

And so I wonder, what charges your teaching battery?

Data: the Long & the Short of It

Data: the Long & the Short of It

More Room to Write

More Room to Write