Out With The Old
I know most of us see each new year as a time to make some changes or think about what we want to be different about the coming year. We take time to consider what our new year resolutions are going to be. Should I have a healthier diet? Should I try and expand my horizons and travel? Can I improve my teaching?
For most of us, the answer to that last one will probably be yes. It’s not that we’re not good teachers, but in our roles as teachers, we are often most critical of our own practice. I know in my classroom, I’d love to further understand bar models, how to ensure children apply the spelling rules they learn as well as continuing to find ways to get more experience. The new year is a natural point for us to make these decisions – especially if we’re feeling well-rested after the Christmas break.
But I also think that at the end of the year we should be looking back on what we have achieved in the year that has passed too. As I said, as a teacher it’s natural that we are critical of ourselves; we spend all our time reflecting on our practice, our lessons and the experience we are giving to the pupils in our class. We often recognise the negative more than the positive (I’m hoping that it’s not just me who does that anyway!) even though we know we’re making a difference.
So, it’s time we all looked back on 2019 and found things we’re proud of ourselves for doing.
What did we do well?
What had the biggest impact on those around us?
How did we improve the happiness of people we meet?
I encourage all of you to start thinking about all of these things and how you are affecting the people you come into contact with. You will be making a difference in people’s lives every day and we are very lucky to be in a job where we can say this and mean it.
And, as for next year, my resolution is to take a moment at the end of each day and think of something positive that has happened. Even if it is a day where I feel deflated or drained (let’s be honest, we all have a few of those!) I want to isolate at least one point during the day where there was a positive exchange. It could be a child having a light bulb moment, a colleague giving you a compliment or even a child making you laugh with a cracker-awful joke. If we look for one, we will always find a moment that makes us smile; these are the moments we need to ensure we reflect on.
I hope you all have a fun, restful festive season which leaves you refreshed to tackle 2020. Whatever resolutions you make – or don’t make! – have a Happy New Year!