How many times have you said “I’m so busy” in 2017?
Wow, what a year its been, I have certainly been busy in 2017 travelling across Australia to work with over 50 schools and more than 10,000 teachers. Of course there has been so much more but what I have loved the most is seeing and hearing teachers share their strengths, recognize their achievements and share positive feedback. It is amazing how a simply acknowledgement can make the world of difference to someone. The good news is we don’t have to wait for others to notice either, we can actually acknowledge ourselves, if we stop long enough to think about it. It doesn’t take much to feel valued, but to do so, we must stop, reflect and ask ourselves, what have we been busy doing this year?
Over the past month in my many workshops, I have been asking teachers this exact question “What have you been busy doing this year?” . They look at me with blank faces, then smirk at me as if I’m mad. I repeat the question and the typical answer is “stuff, busy doing teaching and other stuff”, but what does ‘stuff’ even mean?
Often we run from task to task, rarely stopping to acknowledge all we have achieved. This is because the job is endless, the tasks never ending and timelines tight. In the aim of completing our to-do lists we can be involved in up to 1000 interpersonal contacts a day and have to make up to 1500 decisions a day. This means we are thinking, doing and sharing ALL the time as we achieve ‘stuff’. Teaching our classes are only a part of the picture, as we know, most of our time gets taken up by meetings, extra curricular activities, welfare and admin requirements as a measure of accountability. So, yes, we are very busy doing ‘stuff’, so lets acknowledge all that we do and give ourselves permission to take a well deserved break these coming holidays.
Here is my gift to you ….
As the year comes to a close I want to encourage you to sit for 30-45min and deeply reflect on all that you have achieved this year. List as many things that you can think of. How many things can you think of off the top of your head? Try using headings that involve all the different roles your are involved in. It is important to use the whole 30min, be as specific as possible and not rush this with general statements, eg, “teach Maths”.
You deserve this time to acknowledge you, so give yourself this gift. If you get stuck, refer to your diary or day book that you have used through the year to remind you (on a side note, it may be useful to think about why you cant remember, perhaps you may like to look at practicing more mindfulness to so are fully present in the tasks you complete through the day, as opposed to mindlessly moving through them).
Here are some sample headings to get you started.
Think back to all you have you achieved in 2017;
1. The Classroom
- Topics/subjects taught
- Assessments made & marked
- Resources made & collected
- Programs created or revised
- Classroom environment maintained
- Equipment purchased
2. Relationships formed
- Specific staff you have met and connected with
- Positive student learning experiences
- Positive parent conversations
- Inspiring school leaders / mentors
- School socials organised or attended
- Faculty meeting participation
3. Whole school
- Role specific tasks eg welfare, executive, etc
- Staff meeting participation
- Excursions involved in
- Carnivals involved in
- Sport participation
- Extra-curricular events
- In-services attended
The more time you spend with this, the more you will come to realize that you have worked hard, you deserve a break and now is the time to switch off, celebrate and restore…… Because next year, you get to do it all over again 🙂
On a final note, a HUGE THANKYOU to everyone who has shared and supported me in 2017, I couldn’t do it with out you and I whole-hearted appreciate your ongoing support. I look forward to having a break as well as I get ready for an even bigger year in 2018.