Welcome back! I sincerely hope you have enjoyed celebrating the holidays and the New Year with your family and friends! The New Year marks a time when we pause to consider the past and think about the future. To that end, I have been thinking about our district goals and was excited to present updates at the January 23rd Board of Education meeting. You can click here to view this presentation. For me, it parallels looking back and preparing a New Year’s Resolution. While as a District, we have many, there is one that is most important to me which I will tell you about shortly.
Why do we make resolutions? Often we make them to improve ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. The most popular resolutions include the commitment to lose weight, to get organized, to quit smoking, to stay fit and healthy, and to spend more time with family & friends. While 45% of Americans make resolutions, only about 8% achieve them. 8%! What a terrible statistic! Disheartening, really. After all, these are resolutions that offer change and benefits to our lives.
So, how do you keep your resolutions? Educators know the secret. It’s as simple as applying their occupational know-how to their lives.
Following are the ten ways educators can use what they do in their careers to make their resolutions come true.
- Set a SMART goal. A specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time bound goal is easier to achieve than the nebulous, “I want to improve my eating habits.”
- Measure success! When student learning is assessed, they receive grades. Do the same for your resolution. Make marking periods for your goals!
- Appreciate and celebrate small steps forward. Teachers praise and encourage students when they make improvements. Why not offer yourself a smile or pat on the back?
- Share the news! Teachers know the impact of a refrigerator paper or work displayed in the classroom! Sharing with someone else, makes the accomplishment sweeter and encourages continuation of goal setting.
- Create a schedule. It’s like lesson planning plus! Teachers and students live by a schedule. There’s a time of the day for learning subject matter and a time for lunch. If you can schedule a test or a parent meeting, why not schedule your goal? Don’t look for time – schedule it!
- Prioritize! Every New Jersey resident is crazy busy, but people make time for what they value. Value your goals and work towards them. There’s no rush. You just want to keep moving forward.
- Be patient. No road is perfectly straight. No one goes through life unscathed or having to face only simple choices. Everyone carries a weight. Be patient with yourself and accept that the road towards your goal may be a little bumpy at times or may include detours.
- Be kind to yourself. When you find yourself on the detour, know that the next morning offers you the opportunity to get right back on track.
- Celebrate someone else’s achievement. It will strengthen your own resolve. If you are honestly happy for someone else, you will be rewarded with extra strength.
- Make it a habit. Teachers tell students to read every day, practice math, and enjoy learning. Habits become who we are.
Teachers, I hope you will share the secret of keeping a New Year’s Resolution with your students. Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” While we continue to build, I’ll share my resolution with you. This district is very important to me, and my resolution is to continue to build bridges and open communication. While I’ve been in buildings and have visited about half of the non-tenured classrooms, I cannot be in every classroom or building every day. So, I thought I would offer you office hours. These are hours that I will put aside for anyone who wants to visit and chat, complain, suggest, brag, question or celebrate.
- January 17- 3:00pm – 4:30pm
- January 31- 7:00am - 8:30am
- February 9- 3:00pm – 4:30pm
- February 23- 7:00am – 8:30am
- March 7- 3:00pm – 4:30pm
- March 15- 7:00am – 8:30am
- April 12- 3:00pm – 4:30pm
- May 3- 7:00am – 8:30am
- May 17- 3:00pm – 4:30pm
- June 6- 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Just send my Administrative Assistant, Lauren Dubek, an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and she’ll schedule some time for you and me.
Best to you all,