Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reflection time

At the end of last month I followed a tweet and ended up at a blog post that was about 12 things you should be able to say about yourself.    I thought it would be interesting to see, as I'm coming up to the end of my 30th year of teaching, which of those could be applied to how I view myself as a teacher.

I feel I'm doing well with these:

  • Follow your heart and your intuition - this is what Steve Jobs said.  Live the life you want to live, and be the person you want to be.  Act on your decisions, try again after you make a mistake, don't let others put you down.  What I've come to see is that in life things don't always go as planned but you can't let these disappointment discourage you.  When I reflect on my 30 years of teaching I would say that 27 of these have been good years.  For me  I think the 90% of good experiences in good schools has been worth the 10% of bad experiences in mediocre ones.
  • I am proud of myself - sometimes it's easy to close your eyes and ears and pretend you don't see or hear the bad things that are happening.  I'm not the sort of person to do that.  I have strong principles and I will voice them.  I will never compromise on a child's safety, either on or off line.  I will never use unlicensed software, no matter how unpopular this decision may be.  I will never close my eyes to injustice and unfair treatment.
  • I am making a difference - when you make a positive impact in someone's life, it makes a positive impact in your own.  Teaching has often been called the noblest of professions.  I agree.  We can take ordinary kids and make them extraordinary.  We can take good teachers and make them better.
  • I am making my time count - I've given up wasting my time on things and people who couldn't care less.  I want to work with great teachers, I want to do wonderful things, I want to see amazing places, I want to experience what life can offer.  I once read that time is the only thing that you can spend that makes you richer.  On the other hand, a day wasted is a day you never get back again.  Every day I try to do something that counts, we owe it to our students to give them the best future they can have.

I am not doing so well with these:

  • I am happy and grateful - I know that happiness is a choice.  I know the way I view things is a choice.  I'm working on letting go of negative experiences.
  • I have forgiven those who hurt me - I'm still working on this and probably this is the hardest of all for me.  I don't want to drag a grudge against anyone around with me - the only person that hurts is myself as it makes me sad and bitter.  What I find most difficult, however is not to forgive those who have hurt me, but those who have hurt my family.
  • I take full accountability for my life - it's easy to realize I've made a mistake but then I need to do something about it.  I need to own my choices and learn from my mistakes and stop blaming others. 
  • I have no regrets - I hope to be able to say this one day.  I'm working hard on letting these regrets go.
This post was inspired by Marc and Angel Hack Life

Photo Credit:  Natural Narcissim!! by Taro Taylor, 2005 AttributionNoncommercial

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