January Reflections

At my school, January's character development theme is reflection. So, I figured it would be helpful for me to practice a little reflection myself.

At the beginning of the year I set out to "go for broke" and "do good work." While I haven't always kept these goals at the forefront of my teaching, I haven't forgotten them either. There have been specific afternoons, for example, when I'm tempted to just put the kids on the Chromebooks and give myself a breather. At these moments, I've reminded myself of my intention to "do good work." In other words, I need to put the best of myself into each day.

I have found this to be a useful goal as well in terms of being kind to myself. It helps me to celebrate my effort and my impact, even while acknowledging a larger aspiration. My goal is not to "do perfect work." As long as it's my best effort, as long as my students feel cared for, supported, and challenged, then I can be proud of the work I put in.

"Go for broke" has proven more difficult. That doesn't surprise me. In part it's because I'm still working to overcome my aversion to conflict. There have been several interactions with colleagues where I walked away wondering if I was as honest and direct as necessary.

But I know that this is all a work in progress. As I teach my kids about being "growth-minded" and using strength-based thinking, I need to apply this to myself. I don't need to be perfect. I just need to get better, bit by bit.


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