Each school year seems to go faster than the year before. Over the summer, our brains tend to race as we ponder about the, “I wish I would haves” from the year before.
Maybe you are thinking to yourself:
- I wish I would have tried ____________ (add in the curriculum idea here).
- I wish I would have been a better ______________ (add in job title here).
- I wish I would have taken more risks in the classroom for my students.
- I wish I would have built more positive relationships with my colleagues.
- I wish I would have been more generous with my love and time to others.
Soon after, we start to dream big with the marvelous, grandiose, and detailed plans of everything we aspire to do for this upcoming school year. We commit ourselves to it all and believe that this time, nothing will stand in our way to reach our plans.
It can be a vicious cycle of dreams, hope, then guilt if we feel that we fall short at the end of the year.
But, I believe that over the summer during our brainstorming sessions, we can get so blinded with everything we want to do that what we all often miss are discussions of starting the year with a “Fresh Slate” Mindset.
As educators, we have a unique opportunity to start each year with a fresh slate. In most other professions, people do not have this chance. We can and should take our failures and missteps from the year before and turn them into learning opportunities for the future; Rather than dwelling on the past, we have a responsibility each school year to make it better than the year before.
So, as you approach this upcoming year, I challenge you to embody a “Fresh Slate” Mindset, for yourself, students and your colleagues. What I mean by this is for you to give yourself grace for failures made, and most of all give that same grace to others, too.
Remember this: We can be whoever we want to be today. Who we were yesterday does not have to dictate who we will be today or tomorrow.
We are all human, we have all made mistakes, and every person in this world could all use a little more love and acceptance. After all, we are all learning and figuring life out as we go, right?
In the excitement of the new school year and ideas, do not forget to take the time to press the restart button for yourself and others. Start small and always start with love.
We often practice this with students, but forget to apply it to ourselves and other adults.
Sometimes, what we ALL need the most, even more than new programs and innovations, is a chance to start over and do better than what we have ever done before.
Here is to making this school year the best yet,