As I reflect on the year we just had, I can’t help but feel proud of myself, all the educators and of course, the children that endured all of the challenges of the year we had. From countless closures to the uncertainties, our feelings of normalcy were starting to become a thing of the past. For someone who is normally so positive, I found it hard sometimes to carry on with a smile and try to spread the feeling of “All will be well.” So how do we learn from this? How do we use what happened in 2022 to guide us in 2023.
Well as I set goals for 2023, I think I would like to bring a couple of mindsets into the new year:
Never underestimate the power of an experience
2022 was made up of many lovely experiences- whether it be viewing a musical at the local high school or playing in a soccer tournament- students remember every single experience and love to look back on it. So try to take the opportunities as they come. Read every email because you never know when a fun opportunity could come your way. Also, never be afraid to make a fun opportunity happen! I know sometimes I wonder if the students will like something I plan or ask them to plan but they always end up reminiscing on how great of a time it was. So experiences are the greatest treasure I would take from 2022, right down to a game of trivia on the playground.
Nothing is forever
I remember being upset multiple days during 2022 thinking, “I hope this doesn’t last forever” and the truth is, it never did. So positive thinking almost always wins and stressing over things that are beyond our control never works well. I hope in 2023 that when I am faced with a challenge, I will approach it without dreading its end date and that I can find a way out of it. I know that this will ultimately make me less stressed and will help me stay positive.
Breaks are for taking a break
I remember trying to plan any break we would get: Christmas, March, summer, etc. I would carve out a few days to plan as far ahead as I could get and not actually spend any of my break on break. This summer, I tried something different. I enjoyed getting married, my honeymoon and then after, I didn’t plan. I didn’t read any documents, instead I watched videos and read articles about first day activities. I read the exciting first day back opportunities our board had made and from there, I let things happen as they may. I started to really plan the curriculum after I got to know my students. Spending weeks of the summer mapping out a plan was something I thought I needed to feel confident about the next school year- however doing so during the first weeks of September proved to be much more productive. By then, I knew my learners and knew the style of teaching I would want to use for that group. This is a style of preparedness I want to save and continue on with for 2023. I don’t think I ever really tried taking time to take a break- a break from the business and the planning. Now I know I can do it.
There are so many other things I’d like to comment on but I have my activities saved in files, my memories saved in photos and of course, actual items saved in my class. I felt it would be most important to write down these mindsets so that others could try them. Although there are many lessons and units I’d love to try again, it’s more important to reflect on the feeling and mindset I’d like to have. Stress is a feeling almost every teacher shares, I’d love to see that change into something else. This blog helps me relieve some of that and I always hope there’s someone out there that will try it too. Either by reading, replying or trying to write their own version.
Happy new year everyone!