Holding focus is hard to do. Now in the pattern of the school day and school year- the big picture focus, long term goals and data collection all become items on a plate too full of paperwork, planning, supporting students and meeting with parents and colleagues. When practicing persistent patience, a teacher never loses hold of that focus. The focus is never another thing. The focus is everything, and all other areas of work either support it, or don’t. The persistence of aligning the day to day work tasks to meet long term goals and big picture planning is challenging. Many times, it is unpopular or counter-cultural to current simplified education rhetoric. And, this is why one practices persistent patience. It is never mastered. It is a day by day, class by class, minute by minute decision.
Taking time to reflect, evaluate & purposely plan next steps is the key to identifying success of persistent patience. There are short term goals in place that once achieved- reignite the possibility that maybe, just maybe, all of this sacrifice and struggle to hold a long term goal might really pay off… in the end. And- when reflection and evaluation clearly reveal a long, curved trajectory on the path to completion, patience evens the pathway. Slow and steady wins the race- and since supporting the lives of students is never a race to a patient, persistent practitioner, methodic habits and purposeful next steps are what makes for a meticulous and meaningful teaching practice.