I love making time-lapse videos. They capture slow movements. They require patience….and patience. It’s like doing meditation… we need to focus..breathe in and out till we capture the moments.
2018 was over. There were times I think time moved so fast whilst I was still standing doing the same thing. There were times I think that I tried to do things fast but time was moving slowly.
Isn’t life just like the time-lapse video? Doesn’t the life of an educator sometimes feel like the time-lapse video? Hmm…..
I am not a big fan of creating a new year’s resolutions. I do have 2019 ‘things-to-be-done’ list but I won’t make them resolutions.
I will definitely put lots of effort and be determined in ensuring that those points on the list are done properly (not only ticked) but at the same time, I should be able to reflect and be flexible with the changes that go along. Being flexible is definitely the requirements to accomplish the things on the list. There are things that I can plan and control and there are things that I can’t and I have to accept and let it go.
‘….Do what lights you up this year! Invest your time and energy in the aspects …. that you are passionate about. When faced with the aspects …. that are challenging or draining, reimagine how those tasks might be tackled differently….’
What lights you up? via @Catlin_Tucker
This quote is taken from Catlin Tucker’s blog and it resonates with me. Passion. I should not forget about my passion that has led me to where I am and who I am now. What I have achieved and what I am still pursuing (instead of saying what I failed to do) are things that shape me, inspire me and motivate me to grow.
So, in order to continue growing, I will continue doing what I believe I have done in the past. The new year does not require that everything must be new. We may be required to continue what we’ve started in order to see better and significant results. It’s a learning journey which does not stop when the year ends.
So, here are a few things (from the list) that I would continue doing more often…in 2019.
(Continue to) get inspired. Adam Hill is one of the people who inspired me to start blogging and connecting with people on Twitter. I have grown my professional learning network on Twitter and I can see how it benefits me as an educator. Every day I get inspired by educators from all over the world. Every day provides a chance to learn. Every inspiration keeps me enabling me to reflect and think – how can I be a better educator …a better colleague… a better person? I believe it does not require expensive PDs to learn all of these things. The only thing I need to do is to make time to get inspired by others.
‘…we firmly believe we all have time for EXACTLY what we choose to have time for…’
Kids Deserve It – page 24
Additional reading: 10 Reasons Every Teacher Needs A Professional Learning Network
(Continue to) learn with and from others. This is something that closely relates to getting inspired by others.
I found this visual on Twitter which cut down the long list of ways to grow professionally. It looks simple and short, yet they require self-motivation and commitment to do this.
Thinking about learning with and from others, I believe I should reach the closest community which I am a part of – my colleagues at school. Each teacher has their own experience and expertise that makes us a great team. This reminds me of the video from John Hattie about ‘What Does It Mean to Be a Successful Teacher?’
As I watched the video, there’s a part when he said about ‘.…having teachers watch other teachers in terms of the impact they’re having on kids, and reflecting on that to help the teachers to better understand their impact…‘ This is something that I would like to happen more often at the school. We share, collaborate, discuss, disagree and eventually agree at some points. The school is not only a learning environment for our students but if we want to use the term learners, we are all learners – the students, teachers, parents, leadership team, staff. We are all learners and we learn from and with others.
‘….educators don’t become experts by relying on specific teaching strategies—instead, their success as teachers arise from their constant self-evaluations and the small improvements they make in their everyday classroom work….’
Joining or starting ‘#observeme’ groups would be one of the ways that can help me to ‘evaluate’ my teaching. I want to get better, how should I improve?
Additional reading: 27 Ways to Improve Your Teaching
(Continue to) focus and make priorities. Without thinking about the list of the year, every day, we already have a long ‘to-do’ list. We may get distracted by chats, doing other things that may not be so urgent, busy thinking of things that are out of our controls, yet we still want to do it, trying to figure out things that we know it’s just a dead-end and many more. So, having a planner may be a good start and sorting out the list to make some priorities would be the next step. I want to use the time more effectively and efficiently, how can I ensure the ‘big rocks’ fill the jar first before pebbles and sand?
(Continue to) take step one at a time and appreciate little things. Recently, I found this video posted on Linkedin. The title is a bit misleading but the message is valid.
Here are a few takeaways from the video
Point 1 – There is no event. It’s an accumulation of lots and lots of little things. Do little things …consistently.
Point 2 – Saying ‘I love my job’ is NOT the same as ‘I like my job’. This reminds me of a child (a first grader) who explained how he feels towards his mum. He clearly said that ‘love’ is more than just ‘like’. Love shows how passionate we are towards something/people/etc. Love to passion. Like to interest.
Point 3 – Common beliefs and common values are important to nurture a relationship.
Point 4 – Make time for doing little things.
Point 5 – Our courage comes from the support we feel from others. The support comes from the relationship we foster..the people who care about us and believe in us. So…go back to Point 1.
I found this video posted on Linkedin. As educators, we may sometimes feel overwhelmed and set high expectations towards ourselves. Getting burnout may be the worst nightmare that could happen to anyone. What can we do to avoid it? Don’t hurry and force yourself, but stay steady instead. As it’s mentioned in Simon Sinek’s video – Do little things consistently.
So…..no new year’s resolutions for me but I do have my #OneWord2019 – grit. I would give the credit to Julie Woodard for the informative and interesting visual about grit. Failure – Adversity – Setbacks are the three things that may challenge the journey of my ‘continuous’ learning process. But…. with grit, I believe whatever passion we pursue, we’ll get there. One thing that I think it’s also important to be included is the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn. This is where the element of reflection comes into the ongoing inquiry cycle.
So….going back to my initial question – Isn’t life just like the time-lapse video? Doesn’t the life of an educator feel like the time-lapse video?
I do believe that there will be the time when I think it moves so fast whilst I may be still standing doing the same thing. There will be a time when I think that I try to do things fast but it’s moving slowly.
Is it necessary to accelerate the ‘speed’ of living in the year? Perhaps…in some cases. Can we press ‘stop and pause’ to think of what to do next? Sure, why not. It’s all up to us. The ‘action’ button of 2019 is in our hands. We make the decisions. It is 2019! Lots of new things that I will try. Whether it’s in time-lapse mode or not…..I decide to enjoy each moment…each learning experience…each failure…each pushback..each surprise…each ‘Aha’ and ‘Uh-hu’ moment…each baby step that leads to big step (which may not happen directly)….basically EVERYTHING that will happen.
So….this is 2019, what and how will you pursue this year?…. Make sure we know the ‘why’ we pursue whatever we want to pursue.