Monday, June 5, 2017

June Monthly Goals 2017

This year I have been setting goals each month using four themes: balance, purpose, health, and organization. These themes have helped me focus each month on specific steps towards creating positive changes and growth.

In June these themes still apply, but my focus is a little different. This month is a bittersweet one for me, as for the first time in over 10 years, I am preparing to change schools. On top of the normal craziness that always comes at the end of a school year, there is extra emotion, need for organization, and anticipated change.

For the past 10 years I have taught in a small K-8 school. I have taught across multiple grade levels, worked with kids from the same families, and watched students move through our school and into high school. The community is small and close knit, both among the teaching staff and within the families of the town. I have felt connected and included, grown as a teacher, and had a voice. So the decision to move on from this school was not an easy one.

However, my new school is equally a small, inclusive school. The school has some great initiatives that I am excited to get on board with and I will return to teaching primary grade students. I know I will grow professionally. Personally, it will provide a sense of grounding and balance for my family that we've been searching for the last few years. My boys and I will have the same routine and schedule, which hopefully means calmer mornings and evenings.

While there is much to look forward to, there is also much to miss. It's made me think a lot about how hard anticipated changes are, and how often children go through them at this time of year. Students know that their school year is wrapping up. It's likely they are leaving a teacher and moving on to a new teacher. They may also have a sense that the regular routine is thrown off with end of year events. Kids may be excited for summer vacation, but know that it means less regularity for the next few months. And, like me, this change often stretches across several months. This prolonged experience can only drag on the complicated feelings. It's definitely given me more appreciation for what young people go through each spring as they wrap up a grade.

And, as with many changes, the closer I get to the big moment, the more I worry about different pieces. With a longer, anticipated change it's definitely a lot easier to think about the "what-ifs" and all the other complicated pieces.

This month my goal is to focus on the following things-

1) Enjoy the last two weeks of school with my current "kids." Amid the craziness - strive to create nice moments together and celebrate our growth and achievements this past year. (Balance)

2) Focus on what's in my control - there's a lot of busyness and extra stress within schools at this time of year. It's easy to feel distracted by big issues that may not be fixable in the moment or small details that really don't matter in the end. My goal for the time being is to focus on what's in my control and what's imminent. (Purpose)

3) The end of June is going to mean packing up and moving all of my school materials. It's a great time to be thoughtful about what items are needed and purposeful in my teaching collection - and also a great time to clean out what isn't. (Purpose, Organization)

4) Take time to recognize that change is hard - no matter the age, situation, or choices behind the change. It's okay if things feel awkward or hard. My goal is that by acknowledging the harder parts I'll feel better about the fact they are there. (Health)

5) Celebrate - celebrate the end of another successful year, the amazing place I've been and the people I've worked with, and the great things that are to come. There's so much to be positive about this month - yet sometimes it's the last place our brains take us when we most need it. (Balance)

Don't forget to take a moment to read the monthly goals from these other bloggers, and check back in at the beginning of July to see how the changes went. 

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