It seems not that long ago that I was planning for this year, now it is all but over. No catastrophic events professionally or personally this year but definitely some periods of challenge and a few “firsts”! The following are some key things that come to mind as lessons learned or significant reminders that have been important for me this year.
First impressions can change!
I have always considered myself a pretty good judge of character and would like to think that I never treat people differently regardless of their circumstances. This year though, I’d made some assumptions about why some of the people I work with became teachers and I was ignorantly mistaken. My lesson was to take the time to get to know people before I categorise them in any way. It’s easy to assume that people are resistant to change because they’re lazy or stuck in their ways. Listening to what they need, how they learn, what they fear or are frustrated by gives me an insight into how or if I can be a support. By listening more and talking less, I have learnt a valuable lesson and developed some great working relationships.
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
Bryant H. McGill
One of the challenges this year has been to “let go”. One of my strengths is modelling practice and sharing everything I have that may be of use to anyone whom is interested. I am truly invested in making myself redundant, by supporting and developing the people around me until I am no longer needed. What this requires is for me to give up control of things I am used to handling. It means things are done differently and at times have not been as successful, but mostly it has been that people and ideas have developed and grown for the better. This will be something I continue to work on.
When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’
– Lao Tzu
Don’t take toxic behaviour personally
I can’t control other people’s behaviours, nor their intentions. What I can do is control how I let it affect me. This year has seen some significant events occur that have caused me stress. I cannot control the behaviours of people involved with my students beyond my classroom, what I can control is how I react to that student, how I support their development, how I show them they are important, cared for and valued.
The same is true for the behaviours of other adults in my life. I will continue to focus on surrounding myself with a positive circle of influence. People that challenge, encourage and value me. I know that I do not have to agree with everyone and not everyone will agree with me. It is only the dignity and compassion that I show in this regard that will truly reflect who I am and I will continue to let my actions speak louder than others’ words.
Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.
Embrace opportunities wholeheartedly
I have always been a believer in not letting opportunities pass me by. I encourage my own children, my students and my friends to take risks, embrace opportunities and at times fly by the seat of their pants! I have always had difficulty saying no, so professionally it has not been difficult to jump into projects when opportunities arise. This has led to some great prospects this year for myself and our students. Personally I probably play a lot safer and this will be something that I will be mindful of next year.
“Your life is an occasion. Rise to it!” – Mr Magorium
Some things turned out the way I planned and some things did not. The only success to be measured is that I become better tomorrow than I was today. Here’s to the year ahead!