Resolve to Make Time
Last January there was a #twowords movement trending across educational social media circles. I’m not sure where it originated—please let me know if you remember—but the idea was for teachers to share the two words that synthesized their personal or professional goals for the new year. All month the blog posts and Twitter feeds circulated, inspiring me to reflect on what my own two words for 2018 might be.
Ironically, I never was able to narrow down to just two words myself. . . confirming a larger issue I struggle with every year: so many balls in the air!
As educators, we often put our own needs after those of our students/teachers/families/communities. The urgent (but often less important) tasks are prioritized over the more important (but less urgent) work of our own professional learning and goals. The most common frustration I hear in schools is around time—the lack of it, how much of it is spent in ways that feel out of our control, and the sincere proclamation that if only we had more of it, oh, the places we could go.
So this year I am determined to
—those are my two words. To carve out space (with great intention) for the activities, tasks, and work that has the greatest meaning and impact on my life and the lives of others. I choose to take control of my own time, to be proactive about building my schedule around that which challenges me and reflects the joy I feel for teaching and learning.
This will, of course, involve saying no to to things that are less important (not my best thing, if I’m being honest). It will also require me to advocate for the work I believe in most deeply.
Leadership in CCIRA connects directly with my beliefs around building and supporting learning communities for teachers. Professional learning and connection to fellow educators should be an essential for teachers—not a luxury. We should not feel guilty about making time to read, to attend workshops, or to interact with our PLNs (online or in real life). Annual events like the CCIRA Conference are exactly the type of experience we should make time for; we owe it to ourselves to invest in our own learning.
I would encourage fellow educators to prioritize their own needs for learning this year—to make time for those opportunities that fill them up and power them forward. Joining the community of educators at the
2019 CCIRA Conference
will reinvigorate and inspire. We all deserve to be reinvigorated and inspired (and we should never feel guilty taking two days away from our classrooms to learn and grow). Our students, colleagues, and communities benefit when we stay current and continue building deep instructional expertise. There is also compelling research around the connection between teacher wellness and the social emotional wellness of our students. If being part of a vibrant and motivated community of learners fires you up and reminds you why you chose this complex and challenging profession, then you should be at the Denver Marriott Tech Center February 6-9, 2019.
On behalf of the CCIRA Executive Committee, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! Please reach out if we can support you in any way. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the 2019 CCIRA Conference in February. And I encourage you to resolve to make time for whatever matters most in your own lives. (What are your own #twowords for 2019?)