What are your New Year’s resolutions?

This is the question many people around the world are asking and trying to answer.

My answer to this question is, “I’m not making any– the year is not over yet, it’s only January!”

This makes perfect sense to me. As an educator, I think in terms of the new “school year” which doesn’t start until August — this is when I set my goals for each new year.

January 1st simply marks a halfway point and provides the perfect time to pause and reflect on progress towards the goals set back in August.

When I sat down with Head of School Doreen Kelly in August, she presented a new framework to me for setting my goals and asked me, “What will you start, stop, and continue this school year?”

This made so much sense to me and provided me with the perfect structure for outlining all the things I wanted to accomplish during the 2013-2014 year.

I openly share my goals with all the readers of this blog (especially the Ravenscroft community) with the hope that others will provide feedback on my progress towards accomplishing them. Doing so will also provide me with the opportunity to reflect on my own progress and ensure I am holding myself accountable for the goals I set back in August.

1) START intentionally mentoring Lower School faculty who show interest in being future leaders and serving in academic and administrative leadership positions.

2) STOP reading and responding to emails between 7 p.m.-7 a.m. (and no emails on Saturday and Sunday) unless there is a time sensitive communication or emergency situation.

3) CONTINUE

Personal:

  • Be intentional about building relationships with admissions applicants and their families, as well as current students, faculty, and parents. Specifically, work on being approachable and warm so all members of the community feel comfortable coming to me with questions, concerns, ideas, and joys.

  • Dedicate time to my own professional development with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion and teacher growth and evaluation.

Lower School:

  • Research best practices and facilitate conversations with faculty to evaluate scope and sequence of our literacy, math, social studies, and science curriculum to ensure we are providing a rigorous curriculum in all areas, and that we have horizontal as well as vertical alignment within and across grade levels.

  • Improve and enhance our community by being intentional with our efforts related to creating a respectful, diverse, and inclusive Lower School.

I have STARTed mentoring two Lower School faculty members who have expressed interest in future leadership positions, and I have really enjoyed our monthly conversations and watching them both step-up and shine when given opportunities to lead with others.

Surprisingly, (or maybe not so surprising to those who know me well), the goal that has been hardest to keep is what I am supposed to STOP doing– reading and responding to emails during what should be my family and personal time. Maintaining balance in my family, work, and personal life is always a constant challenge for me. This is still an area of growth for me– please help support me in my efforts!

CONTINUEd progress is happening on the other goals and is evidenced in meetings or experiences I lead as the chair of the Faculty Growth and Evaluation Committee or Lower School Division and Department meetings.  We are researching, discussing, and designing curriculum, growth and evaluation systems, and ways to make our school community more diverse and inclusive.

What do you think– do you see evidence of progress on any of the goals mentioned above?  

Image from: http://jeffzelaya.com/2011/12/30/just-say-no-to-new-years-resolutions/

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