Friday, August 24, 2012

School Year Resolutions

I've been ruminating about this post for weeks. Many, many years ago, when my now-adult daughters were babies, I wrote a newsletter article for their daycare in which I detailed how for-nearly-ever, I have marked the beginning of the school year as a time to set goals. Then, just yesterday, I received a message from one of my oldest (read: longest-lasting) friends that she, too, has always seen the start of school as filled with freshness, opportunity, and promise.

And so it is. For teachers, parents, students, and anyone who's gone to school, the end of summer and the beginning of school is prime time for resolution making. So here are mine for 2012-2013:

I'm going to...

...let it slide; let it ride. Perhaps these two thoughts are synonymous, but I like the rhyminess of this resolution. Letting things slide, whether the thing is a snide comment, a rude parent, a frustrating policy,  or a difficult task, will be one of my primary goals. Sometimes I spend way too much time on an issue. Sometimes I over-analyze. Sometimes I just can't let go. I almost always use my 24-hour rule, but sometimes even 24 hours are too many.  So "let it slide" will become a question I ask myself (and others, as others can already attest to): "Can I let this slide?" I bet "yes" will be a frequent answer. And letting it ride will hopefully address, among so many other applicable instances, all those student issues in which I often find myself embroiled. This part of the resolution is about battle-picking. And we all know how important that skill is. Hopefully attending to what's important, and releasing what's not, will  become less of a chore and more of a comfortable process for me.

...mind the fine line. Actually, while explaining this resolution to a colleaguefriend last night, I asserted that most "fine lines" are really thick black (permanent) Marks-A-Lot lines. Between here and there lies a vast expanse of ground, and too often we excuse our stepping over the line by calling it "fine." I'm going to pay attention to that line, however fine or however wide: between humor and sarcasm, between inspiration and instigation, between acceptance and judgment, between concern and over-involvement, between intent and impact, between expectation and execution.

...through it all, do it all...tenaciously. It's going to be an interesting, busy, over-packed, stressful year. This I know. The getting ready isn't just for 40 weeks of class. It's for 280 days, give or take a few, in a row. Mondays through Sundays. Early morning to late night. On stage during the school day, behind the scenes for many hours before and after. Prepping, planning, instructing, guiding, facilitating, assessing, data collecting, collaborating, analyzing. Wash, rinse, repeat. Accessing the warrior spirit and approaching every task with tenacity will be key.

I'm ready to roll. The resolutions are developed, the prospect of an upcoming year of change and much growth is exciting, and the potential for increased success is great. Now if I could just drop that bright and shiny Times Square ball from my classroom ceiling....

1 comment:

  1. As the aforementioned oldest (longest-lasting ;) friend, I adore this piece. I need to re-post the paragraph about the 'fine line', if you don't mind (there's a rhyme for you) - I have that as my #1 goal this year, and I loved how you say it all, as it should be.

    Such an absurdly awkward place (when you've been where you shouldn't be, gone where you should not have gone), and each time I partake I know: I should have known better.

    An absolutely necessary goal for my 50th year.

    See you in September!