This week’s topic: What are two things you can do different/better this year?
This is a question I often ask students and teachers so it’s great to have it turned on me.
My first thought was to think of what I would do different or better…in education. I think that’s usually the first thought of educators. And, even though this is called #YourEduStory, your edustory should extend beyond the classroom. The best educators are the ones who are whole people. So, I want to extend mine beyond what I will do better or different in education and generalize it to my whole person.
The more I write my edustory, the more I realize our stories are not compartmentalized. They overlap and are tightly integrated. We are not an educator from 8-4PM, a mom from 4-9PM, a sister on weekends, etc. We are all of those things ALL the time. So, our edustory is our story.
Now that the semantics are out of the way – what are two things you can do better or different this year…in all aspects?
Stress is always my number one priority in improvement. My motto this year is: it’s okay to say no. I’ve been the “yes mam” for years and it takes a toll on your life. Contrary to the movie, it does not always yield the best results. Initially, it feels like it does because you are heavily involved, but it’s not sustainable. So, I’m trying hard this year to prioritize what is important and say “no” to the things that don’t improve my life quality, but say “yes” to the little things. I want to say yes to looking after my nieces more; say yes to long kayak rides; say yes to visiting my parents; say yes to more painting; say yes to more game nights; say yes to the “extras.” I want to learn to say no to taking on more tasks the wear me down. As much as I enjoy taking on leadership roles, it’s the people in my life that will sustain me – not additional tasks. This year is the year to saying no to tasks and saying yes to people. That’s a hard distinction to make and it’s even more difficult for teachers to say. Educators are some of the most committed of all. We are committed to our jobs. However, we are committed to the point of burn out and not to the avail of students. Students will benefit from us being whole people. They benefit from us having a life outside of the classroom. Think about your most influential teachers – they were probably more than a teacher to you. They were a person. Be a person to your students. Embrace all the things that make you, you.
My next improvement is on creativity. I love being creative but because of point #1, it becomes #2 on my list. This year, I am focusing on my creativity and making. I am trying things I never tried before. I am experimenting in makerspaces, creating a new repertoire of experiments. There is reason why creativity is one of the 4Cs. Being creative is what leads to innovation. I would rather have “average” students who are willing to be creative than “above average” students who do not take creative risks. When things are not entirely streamlined, we find creativity. And, sometimes in those moments of creativity, genius happens.
What will you do differently or better this year? How will you make yourself a 3D/360 person?