The new year! I love New Year’s because it gives that special opportunity to say good bye to some of the bungles you’ve made in the past 365 days and, at the same time, opens a whole new door for personal and professional growth! Being a bit of a reflective writer, I have tried throughout my years to think hard on what my past has taught me. Sometimes I have been great at getting it down in written form and other times, I’ve barely thought about it. It all depends on the ebb and flow of my life – how busy am I?
This year my kids are a lot more independent – they are all having success in school or their careers and, more importantly, they all drive. Okay, not more importantly but it is for my opportunity to reflect. This year I am focusing on two big phrases to drive my introspection. They are
1) 2018 was the year of . . .
2) 2019 will be the year of . . .
They sound simple enough but I have to say, they will drive some deep thinking in order to get this right. so, here’s my sentences for my professional self
- .2016 was the year I recognized the importance of strong structure to support change in schools.
I have always known that having the right “system” around change is pivotal but for some reason this year it was driven into my very psyche. You see exceptionally strong admin make huge progress in schools but when that administrator is not present, things can go awry. If there is a strong system in place that supports improvement, even when a iconic person leaves, the system keeps improving. The structure of the system gives improvement legs to continue to move. That’s why I always push schools to build a shared capacity in improvement – yes, the principal is key but if strong systems for improvement are formed in the school, improvement outlasts the principal.
2. 2017 will be the year I build more capacity around me.
I am keen on schools forming shared capacity and improvement planning but I am unsure if I do it myself in my current job. This year, central planning for change needs to be spread among others – administration, instructional coaches, all teachers. Shared capacity means lasting improvement, not simply quick change.
It is a good process to think through. Try it, this may help direct your year!
Have a wonderfully peaceful and holy Christmas . Enjoy your break and we’ll see you back in January refreshed and renewed,.