C & I Newsletter--January, 2016

Thoughts for the New Year

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.—Neil Gaiman

New Year--New You!

Is it true? Is it really so easy for us to transform into something new as easily as we change the numbers on the calendar? “Four Smarter Ways for Students and Teachers to Set Goals” by A.J. Juliani purports that only 8% of goals set at the beginning of each new year are met, largely because we create no system to ensure that we reach our goals. For example, we say that we want to lose twenty pounds, but we create no plan to actually lose the weight and because we have no structure to guide us, it is never reached and soon forgotten. If a person wants to write a book, creating a system might include writing one thousand words every day or something as such to ensure that it is accomplished.

Happy New Year; Positive New Year!

Jon Gordon published “Twenty Tips for a Positive New Year” which gives us a few guidelines. Each day ask: what are the three most important things I need to do today to create the success I desire? Focus on your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it. Implement the “No Complaining” rule. Read more books than you did in 2015. Every night when you go to bed answer the following: I am thankful for . . . .

I think this article applies to K-12 educators. Every day, we should ask ourselves what we are doing to prepare students for state assessments, for college and career readiness, and for life. We know that students who pass state assessments may not have every skill they need, but we also know that students who can’t pass state assessments definitely don’t have the skills needed for the future (David Lemov Teach Like a Champion). No longer is American education following a school model that takes after the Industrial Revolution (with the idea of 20%—basically 20% of graduates needed to be prepared to enter higher education—the 80% left would be able to find another path). The world we live in today is very different, and students who are not prepared for this world lead a life of low income, greater health issues, and greater reliance on government support.

Doctor Oz offers “25 Awesome Tips for Beautiful Life!” Here are a few of the highlights:

Take a 10-30 minute walk every day, and while you walk, SMILE.

Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

Try to make at least three people smile each day.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else does.

Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

“For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice.”  ― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

From “27 Simple Things to Start Doing for Your Happiness” by Marc Chernoff

Letting Go

“Make New Year's goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you're interested in fully living life in the year to come.

Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.

What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?

What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?

What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career?

Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down - as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go.

The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”

Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go: Hazel den Meditation Series

Connect in 2016!

In the article “What Connected Educators Do Differently” by Jimmy Casas and Jeff Zoul, the authors state, “In schools across the country, teachers walk into a classroom 180 days each year, shut their doors, and do the best they can. They spend 90 percent of each day with students, deprived of any significant adult interaction. Over time, this lack of connectivity with other professionals leads to low efficacy, less risk taking, burnout, and high turnover. Many begin to question whether they can even make a difference.” Teachers who connect with others are more likely to develop, grow, and be successful in the classroom, but we all have to have a mindset that helps us realize the importance of avoiding isolation and continuing to grow in our pursuit of great teaching strategies, content knowledge, and professional growth.

I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time. I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months. http://www.appleseeds.org/new-year-quotes.htm