Skip to main content

Time to be ...

It never ceases to amaze the amount of quality professionals we have in education. I was speaking with a few friends of mine recently, in this group there was one who was previously a life-coach, another a former GM of a tech company, a qualified real-estate agent and a medical scientist. As the night went on we all began to talk about our journeys into education.  Through listening to their stories I discovered that many of us shared a similar burden, the desire to make a difference in the lives of children.

Discussions continued about how this desire often got lost due to the overcrowding of curriculum, external expectations and eventually we got to ourselves. When I say ourselves I mean we as teachers began to become less self disciplined in our personal routine, our attention was spread to wide and our ability to truthfully reflect was distorted.

This reality hit most of us from left field. We thought that we were doing okay but then we had realized that we were part of our own problem.

In this moment we were faced with a complex issue, the question of how do we get back to that point of focus and passion?

About a week later when we next spoke there was a suggestion made that we all begin to journal or blog. Most of us coming from previous professions had done similar in the past and had found benefit in it then so we took on the challenge to answer the two driving questions behind our issue:

  1. Who do we want to become in this season of teaching?
  2. What habits do we need to form to make this a reality?

When faced with deep questions it is essential not to get down on yourself but to look for the opportunities.

The following are some routines that I have now implemented with the guidance of my fellow educators and so far we are all sharing some wonderful clarity in focus.

Build downtime into your schedule.
When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family, friends and activities that help you recharge.

If a date night or event is in your calendar, you'll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don't have to cancel.

Drop activities that sap your time or energy.
Take stock of activities that don't enhance your classroom practice or personal life and minimize the time you spend on them.

Rethink your responsibilities.
Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming responsibilities that don't add value to your classroom practice or lifestyle.

Get moving.
It's hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.

Relaxation goes a long way.
Don't assume that you need to make big changes to bring about focus. It is more about giving yourself the time to reflect and plan.

As teachers we know the power of reflection for a student, just watch Austin’s Butterfly by Ron Berger if you want any inspiration, but the power and impact for a teacher is even vaster. It has the ability to change a teacher, student, classroom and a school.

Popular posts from this blog

What does a post-industrial class look like? Part 2

This post is the second part of a series that I have been working on to identify what does a post-industrial class look like? In my previous post, I looked at using video, collaborative discussion, grouping and student-centred learning.

Why a large display and one to one? The large electronic display is used as it offers many benefits to a given lesson; these include demonstration and modelling as the teacher could showcase the application or video from the board (Moss, et al, 2007). It is easy to show the important features of particular web-based activities and have students interact with the material on their own devices. The board can accommodate different learning styles (Herrington & Harrington, 2006). Interactive boards can help tactile learners by touching and marking the board. Audio learners can have the class discussion and auditory multimedia, visual learners can see what is taking place as it develops at the board and it offers multimodal learning which can be tailored …

What is instructional leadership and why is it important for educational leaders?

School leaders matter for schools success (Hattie, 2012). It is universally acknowledged that effective leadership is an essential element in achieving school improvement (Leithwood & Jantzi, 1998; Hopkins, 2001). “At the heart of school capacity are principals focused on the development of teachers' knowledge and skills, professional community, program coherence, and technical resources” (Fullan, 2002, p16).

“The old model of formal, one-person leadership leaves the substantial talents of teachers largely untapped” (Lambert, 2002, p.37). This one-person theory of instructional leadership that was promerate in the years previous to 2000 (Hallinger & Heck, 1998). It was an archetype where the principal would lead from the front being across all levels of leadership (Spillane, Halverson & Diamond, 2001). However, with the increasing complexities of schools, the development of other philosophies of instructional leadership, which can be defined as the guidance or managemen…

How can Change Management be Enhanced by Reflective Practices?