Thank you to David Carruthers who shared the above video on Twitter. I have watched it several times now and it is really resonating with me at this time of year.
“Where are we now?”
The video talks a lot about things left unsaid, paths left unexplored and risks not taken. How does this apply to us as educators? As a teacher standing in front of your classroom you have approximately 10 more weeks with the students that you serve. Ten more weeks before they move on to their next teacher, next school, next stage in life. What do you have left to say to them, what paths do you want to walk with them, what risks are you willing to take with them?
As we head into our Easter break this is a good time for teachers to step back and assess where they started and where they have gone over the course of the school year. It is also a good time to identify where it is you still want to go with the time you have left. Is there a particular student you have failed to connect with and want to find a way in? Is there a difficult topic or subject that you would like to explore with your students? Is there a trip or experience that you want to provide for your students to enrich their classroom experience? If not now, then when?
“Where are we going?”
This time of year is difficult for teachers as we enter into the staffing process. People struggle with the thought of teaching something new, being moved to a new grade, or leaving to go to a new school.
Change has never been difficult for me. I welcome it and as a close friend of mine says “we like the action of it” That is not the case for all educators. Some are very content with the status quo and predictability of their daily lives.
I encourage staff to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and to take risks. During this time of the year I ask them to consider other possibilities for themselves. Is it time for them to move into a leadership role? Could they use their skills and expertise in another grade? Have they considered their long term plans? What skills and experiences do they need in order to get to where they want to be? Is it time to move to another school or a system role? I believe my role as a leader is to develop staff and to coach them so that they can move to the place where they want to be. I intentionally push them outside of their comfort zone.
Now is the time to reflect and to identify what change is necessary for growth. We have 10 weeks left to finish the school year strong. No regrets. As we look forward we have the opportunity to make changes and to try a new path.
The 2017-2018 school year is a blank slate. Where do you want it to start?