This time of year can be a bit challenging. The honeymoon period of the beginning of the year is over. Email, meetings, paperwork, and other compliance-related activities have initiated a hostile take-over of my very meaningful, thoughtful, and purposeful goals for myself and for my work for this year. I’m readying the search party to locate my good intentions for those goals, as I believe they may have retreated or possibly even surrendered.
When I get to this point, the easiest thing for me to do is give in and to fully retreat or surrender. To throw in the towel and concede that this year, like past years, I am just too busy to achieve the goals that I have set for myself as an educator and as a leader.
But I have a choice…
I have a choice to allow myself to quit and just try again next year.
Or….I can reflect on the progress that I have made toward my goals already this year, and I can keep moving forward!
As I #CelebrateMonday today, I celebrate the progress that I have made, and I celebrate that I am not giving up on my goals, especially two of the most important goals I set for myself this year:
Have a Positive Attitude
In education it can be very easy to give into the negativity that surrounds us – because it is simply everywhere. There’s negativity about teachers, about tests, about standards, about test scores, about technology – you name it. This year I want to rise above that negativity – and help my lift my fellow administrators along with me. So every week I begin with a #CelebrateMonday email. We celebrate gratitudes, attitudes, awesome things our teachers and staff members are doing, and the amazing things our students are achieving. It’s small – but it’s a beginning.
Promote Professional Learning
As leaders – especially in districts that are growing rapidly or that are struggling with finances or accreditation – we can sometimes feel more like managers than instructional leaders. That is because our own professional learning often moves to the back burner. This is unfortunate, as learning is likely what initiated our passion to become educators, and our own learning helps us tremendously when we face challenges or want to help our teachers grow. This year I have been very lucky to bring back learning to our administrators by making it part of our monthly administrator meetings. Our learning has been engaging and fun – and it helps us connect with our teachers and our students. Again, this is a tiny first step – but it is a step forward.
I haven’t totally achieved these (or the other) goals I have set for myself. And this time of year, it becomes difficult to stick with those goals to see them through for the entire year. But I have a choice.
I choose to celebrate the progress I have made along the way and use that as the encouragement I need to keep moving forward. I know I’m not there yet; but I do know that as long as I choose not to give up on my goals, I get closer to achieving them every day.