Competition

What is it? That sinking feeling that I get when I am placed in competition with others, either real or implied.

Jill At Bat
Hey, batter, hey batter...

I was never very good at athletics. I can ice skate and ride a bike. Neither of these activities requires competition, except when I am riding with my husband and his handmade 20+ year old Basso racing bike (“frictionless riding, Kate”) and I am sucking wind up the hill of the Harms Woods bike path.

I have played softball. I was catcher for a 16″ theatre league co-ed team (rule #1 – you must field four women) when I was younger, and I still remember the fundamentals of the game. I was confident as long as my job was to remind the team where the play was (“Play’s at third – no force!”). When I had to bat, that was a different story. My heart pounded, my palms sweat, my head swam. I had a terrible on base percentage. I used to try a full swing bunt to confuse the pitcher and catcher. It was so demoralizing to watch the outfield either come in or check out.

That’s the same feeling I had today as I applied to the Google Teacher Academy. I did not look at other video submissions as I had three hours to put this together and I could not allow myself to freak out. Silly me, I looked at the others now that I have submitted my application. Now I feel like I’m back at bat and the outfield just stepped in.

I get that same feeling when we are compared to each other as teachers at school. Ms. Fabulous Faculty won a grant, Mr. Wonderful Writer is published. Heck, all I do is teach my classes (no two the same) advise the yearbook, the newspaper, provide tech support for the literary magazine, act as gradehead, and, and… See? This is SO destructive to us as teachers, colleagues, and learners.

So – I will reframe this. I really want to learn the things that I can at the Google Teacher Academy. I’m not already there. That’s why I applied, and that’s why I want to keep swinging that bat metaphor; maybe someone can show me how to improve my stance and swing the bat from my hips finally.

Photo credit AndrewVDill – Jill at Bat

Update – I am not the droid they were looking for.

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