It’s that time of year. The time of year when on my morning run, I see students gathering at corners all around my subdivision waiting for the big cheese box (aka school bus) to come and pick them up. The school year is here! I want to wish all the students and staff of schools the very best this school year. My hope is that everyone finds new opportunities and a clean slate with the new school year. I always enjoy that aspect of working in education: a new year, new people, new goals, new impact, and new memories. With all this mind, here are some tidbits to kick-start the beginning of the school year.
1. Know your why
It is important to know your objectives and why you do what you do. Keep students at the center of all that you do. As referenced in the previous post, Simon Sinek articulates this in his TED talk and explains that by focusing on “Why” we can inspire action. Knowing your “Why” will guide everything else. It’s the cornerstone that everything else will build upon. Andrew Miller recently contributed to a post in ASCD where he cited “‘Why?’ allows us to not only be inspired but also ensure the choices we make to transform our schools are powerful and grounded in shared ownership and purpose.”
2. Foster Connections & Creativity
Once you have your “Why” for the year, it’s important be open to change, growth, and opportunity. We should always be open to learning and growing personally and professionally. Get to know your students and staff, build positive relationships, and foster connections that will impact learning for years to come. As seen on Twitter this week:
Building this type of community will lead to a stronger culture and climate of the building and open up possibilities for creativity to grow and spread. It is imperative to allow students and staff to be creative and share with one another.
3. Take risks and try new things
This one is particularly been a challenge throughout my life and career. I am about as laid back as they come and I have not always been willing to put myself out there and try new things. However as I continue to grow and gain experience, I try to also put myself out there and take more risks. Now these are calculated risks, they are not without thought. It always goes back to the “Why” that is guiding me, but I find that risk-taking is healthy and helpful. I see taking risks in congruence with goal setting. For example, each school year I would challenge myself to put myself out there and present/share with colleagues as much as possible. As a result I would find myself meeting new people, learning about my colleagues, and gaining more insight into teaching and learning. Set a couple risk taking goals this school year.
4. Have Fun
This one can get lost in the shuffle quickly. With so many items on our lists and minds we tend to forget that we should and need to have fun. Make a point to reflect on each day and make sure you enjoy what you do and spread the joy to others. A smiling face and a sincere “good morning” or “have a nice day” goes a long way. Remember to smile and laugh with your students and staff this school year.
I wish you all the best this coming school year and enjoy every single day!