Here in New Zealand we are just coming to the end of our summer holidays. I head back to work next Tuesday and the children follow the Monday after. The start of a new year has prompted some big picture thinking for lots of people, new year’s resolutions and the like, and I am no exception. I find myself thinking about what I want to achieve this year, for myself, for my family and for the children and teachers I work with. What is at the top of my 2016 to do list?
- I really want to make a go of this kiln idea. How can we include our local community inside the constraints of our regulatory system?
- Next up (or more likely at the same time), the outdoor learning environment could benefit from some love. How can we provide opportunities for our children to engage with nature right in their own playground? How can we honour our children as capable and competent by providing appropriate challenge and risk taking opportunities?
- Planning and Self Review. I am very excited about our emergent planning methodology and can’t wait to consolidate what we are already doing. (Potentially another blog post right there).
- Personally, I would love to do some more research, writing and presenting. It’s just so exciting and a real motivation to put my all into everything I do (you can’t do half a job if you plan on presenting it to hundreds of your fellow teachers!)
- I am also saving up to do my yoga teachers training. How cool would that be? Yoga with the children, but also I have been reading up about yoga outreach. Taking yoga to people who may not have access to yoga, like women’s prisons or refuge centres. I know it sounds silly/crazy, but yoga can give calmness and it can give empowerment. In my opinion, we could all probably use a bit of yoga.
- Continue to be my creative self.. writing, drawing, playing music, whatever takes my fancy!
- Continue to have fun with my family… Board games are the new thing.
I think that is more than enough to be getting along with. It will be interesting to check in later on in the year to see how much has been achieved, or what other opportunities came along that were more exciting. Looking up at the big picture and setting a direction (like with a compass and a map) is vital for us to stay true to ourselves, our values, our vision of how we would like life to be, for ourselves and for the children we work with.
Over the holiday period I was first responder at a drowning incident and had to provide CPR. In that moment and still now, I am insanely grateful that it is compulsory for teachers to have first aid certificates and that I was able to be part of the team that restarted that kids heart and got him off to hospital. (I also have immense respect and admiration for our emergency services from the 111 operator to the paramedics, just amazing professionals). I have never had such a forcible reminder of how fragile life is and how cruel life can be. I am taking that experience with me into this year. My main takeaway? This is it. This is my life. As the saying goes, not one day is promised to us, and in reality, there is near on nothing we can do about it. I am going to focus myself on the things that matter and take one day at a time. Life is hard, but it’s worth it.
I wonder what your goals/focus for the new year will be? Anything special in mind for the children you work with? How about yourself? Sometimes just saying an intention out loud (or in the comments section below) can make a goal more achievable and you more accountable. Here’s to a happy 2016!