I’ve been at KTEC for one month now, in some ways it feels like only yesterday when I started but in other ways it feels like I’ve been here for years! The past four weeks have been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned a lot in a very short time, with much more to go. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting throughout this process and will continue to do so moving forward. I appreciate all of the feedback I’ve received from you as a staff, whether written or through conversations we’ve had in person. Please keep the feedback coming, it helps me grow and I love it!
Usually I write about reflection in the beginning of January, after New Year’s, when everyone seems to be reflecting back on the past year and setting goals for the next 365 days (366 in 2020!) However, I’ve realized that waiting until January is too late. If we are going to truly stop and reflect in an authentic way, it will take time. Reflection isn’t as easy as looking at yourself in the mirror one time and then walking away, reflection is a process.
I would like to challenge you to take the next few weeks to stop, multiple times, and reflect back on the beginning of this school year. To really do this effectively I would recommend setting aside about 15 minutes, twice a week for the next three weeks. Use that time to make notes for yourself about the good and the bad, think about what could have led to those specific moments/days, and then plan for future successes. Here is how I would recommend going through that process.
Session One: Create a list of your biggest successes this school year. Include notes about very positive school days, lessons, and student/parent/colleague interactions.
Session Two: Create a list of moments that stick out to you as less than ideal. Consider risks that you took but didn’t turn out as you’d hoped, lessons that flopped, and student/parent/colleague interactions that could’ve gone better.
Session Three: Focus on the “why” of list one. Why did those positive moments happen? Why was your role essential in creating that positive experience? Why was this moment so positive?
Session Four: Focus on the “why” of list two. Why didn’t that moment/day go as you’d planned? Why will it be different the next time? Why is it important to try this again?
Session Five: Using list one and the associated “whys”, think about how you can create additional positive experiences like those you’ve listed. Create a list of successes for the future, be specific and make notes about how and when you’ll ensure these occur.
Session Six: Using list two and the associated “whys”, develop a plan to try these again and improve on them and/or develop a plan to avoid these pitfalls in the future. Be specific, focus on what you can do to create success.
The process of reflection is essential in all that we do. By taking 30 minutes over the course of each of the next three weeks to think back on the start of the school year and plan for success in the future, you will give yourself a road map for returning in January. One of the biggest reasons that people regularly fail at meeting their New Year’s Resolutions is because they don’t properly reflect and give time to developing a plan for success. Give yourself that time, develop your goals through an honest reflective process, and make all 366 days of 2020 amazing!!