I didn’t do a nurture post last year so can’t evaluate any previous goals. Nor am I writing a book, being asked to speak at educational events round the globe, or becoming a celebrity blogger in the world of EduTwitter! However, in a year of many changes, ups and downs there are some things I want to celebrate.
I have never, ever been a fan of exercising – apart from playing netball for my school when I was 12 – so I never, ever thought I would get into it. But I started swimming and found out what a great stress relief it is! A couple of colleagues have helped by keeping me accountable, and during October half term I met my goal of swimming one whole kilometre. It’s also great for providing some funny stories, like the time I accidentally smacked an annoying teenager in the face while trying to send a stray ball in the pool back to its owner. #Sorrynotsorry.
I also never thought I would leave a school (my class) part way through an academic year. But it turned out to be necessary in 2015, for my own emotional and mental survival, not to mention my survival as a teacher. The way I got my new job was pretty miraculous. It took a lot of courage at the time and I’m so thankful the change was possible.
My goals for 2016 revolve around being kinder, firstly to myself.
Although I love my current school, I’ve only been there for two terms, so I’m still getting established and finding my feet in lots of ways. I still worry, what will they think of me? Will I get shunned if I make a mistake? Will they find out I’m not as good as they imagined?
Every teacher has to deal with being a crazy perfectionist who worries too much at some point and I’m no exception. I’m definitely better than I used to be, after all, I can cope with not everything being laminated now (kind of). But this made me think recently:
Beware too, of perfectionism’s close friends: an all or nothing approach; workaholism; fear of failure; and being over-sensitive to the judgement of others.
Any of these things can easily trip me up if I don’t walk carefully, especially when I’m tired. So I have decided to speak more kindly to myself, focus on the 95% of things that are going well, and be confident that although I still have lots to learn (which teacher doesn’t?) I can do this job, and do it well.
I will also be kinder to myself by keeping up with swimming, which got a bit lost towards the end of term, and writing. I have experimented with both fiction and more non-fiction/self-reflection this year which I’ve enjoyed. A writer I highly respect also told me I should write more, which was a massive encouragement, so I would like to try and take her advice.
Finally, I know that when I am kinder to myself, I have a much greater capacity to be kind to others. I love seeing the difference that being kind to adults and children can make and although I don’t feel like I’m terrible at this, there is always room for more. I want to be consistent about finding ways to encourage others, despite my own workload, and I want to be someone who assumes the best about others, extending grace to them as it has been extended to me.
Three things in the human life are important. The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
– Henry James