Support, self-care, and more sharing
Published: September 24, 2019
As you can see I skipped another few days blogging. In today's Insta & Facebook culture where what is shared is curated to show perfection, it is hard to share when you struggle. I have been tangling with some tricky code and getting bogged down with that instead of blogging and Tweeting. But these are exactly the days I need to blog or share, and more importantly ask for help.
It was awesome to get a Twitter DM from one of my friends with a short message asking "Are you OK?". So appreciative of that support!
It made me realize that someone is reading these and more importantly people care about me. My family is so amazing and awesome, but honestly they are so over me talking about work...which is part of the reason I blog. To organize thoughts for myself and people who might care. Like Sam Altman from Y Combinator says, "it is better to build something a small number of users love, than a large number of users like". I feel like this is the same approach I have with people now too. (The math teacher in me loves how Sam relates the area under the curve--such an awesome relation to a mathematical integral!)
Self-care is a big issue in teaching as it can be an exhausting job requiring your heart and soul just to survive through the day. As teaching is really the only job I ever had before this software development thing, it is the basis that I try to relate everything back to and it really hit home that being an entrepreneur is so similar to teaching. As a solo founder, there are many times I look at my startup like I used to look at my classroom. I was solely responsible for the learning in that room and what went on outside the classroom didn't impact what went on in my room...boy was I so wrong (and ignorant & pompous)!
Once I realized that observing other teachers, learning from their perspective on how to teach a lesson, and sharing my perspective made me a better teacher than my world was forever changed. Not only for me but for my students as well...taking other perspectives into account, especially their students' is the biggest tip I have for new teachers--and a great one for Product Design and figuring out Product/Market fit.
The paradigm that everyone else has their shit together and I was the only one overwhelmed that my lesson planning was not enough was keeping me from loving teacher. It was that feeling that everyone else was doing it better, that other people cared more, that other people were thriving that was keeping me from sharing. Once I realized that everyone has lessons that fall flat on their face, or days that want to make them go cry in their car in the parking lot, or those days that make you want to walk away that all of this stress is not worth it...that was freedom.
This is why I want to share what I have been up to for the last week. The specifics don't matter but I was having a tough time getting some code to work as I was learning a new framework. I was spending entire days not getting the code to run as I thought it should. Reading the API documentation was not helping and it felt like I was missing an integral part. StackOverflow wasn't exactly answering my questions as they weren't using the same quirky platform or they were using different libraries or languages. I would do a Google search and Google would show me I already read the top results yesterday...and they obviously didn't help.
I was struggling so much I felt like I didn't even know the question I was trying to ask. Which by the way is generally the hardest part about coding and I think the greatest parallel to why computational thinking is so important to learn today...figure out how to learn in this age of so much information. So expect some disjointed blog posts this week about my struggle and I hope to share some of the things I do to brighten my day or keep me going :)