It is hard to believe that December is coming up in just three days! Looking back upon the last few months there have been a number of memorable learning experiences – both for myself as a facilitator/coordinator, as well as a student.
As I look back on the projects and initiatives that I have been organizing and supporting throughout the last few months, I thought there would be no better way to start than with reflection on #MyNewYearCommitments.
#1 – There’s Never a Last Chance
Not a day has gone by this year where the heart of a initiative, meeting or activity hasn’t been mindset. I believe that education is based on change – changing culture, changing beliefs, changing the future… Whether focusing on student mindset, teacher mindset, or my own mindset, these changes cannot be possible without a foundational philosophy of a growth mindset. This summer I committed myself not to make judgements on colleagues and continue to approach each day with an open stance. As I look back upon the last three months, I am proud to say that I have observed change and development in all schools and classrooms with whom I have interacted.
#2 – Make (and Keep!) Time for Myself
Time… is there ever enough time? As this school year began I tried to be proactive on this committment and reserved time for myself to reflect, connect, and plan for future activities. With additional buzz and connections from teachers inspired to make change in their practice (See #1 above!), I have to be honest in saying that I have continued to give away much of the time I had hoped to reserve for my work for the benefit of my colleagues. While I do not regret being creative with my schedule to find these opportunities to support classroom teachers, I hope to come back to sustain this commitment that it’s ok to make time for myself and my work.
#3 – Simply put… Get In More Classrooms
I am very happy to say that I have been able to get to classrooms and schools every week thus far this year! While it has been energizing to work with animated and energetic students (and teachers) throughout the last few months, I am even happier to have observed how many of the ideas and strategies that I share with teachers have ‘made their way’ to the classroom. It can be very easy to question whether you are making any difference when you are out of the classroom. Without working with students and classes regularly, I am not able to ‘try out’ any of ideas with my own students, nor can I explore whether certain strategies or philosophies are effective. However, in the classroom that I have been visiting and supporting I continue to see evidence of increased math talk and student thinking… just the motivation that I needed to strengthen and support the work of our team!
Did you make any commitments to yourself or your classroom as the school year began? How have they been going? Would you make any changes, or is it time to refocus?
Until next time…