my #OneWord

Watching the #OneWord Twitter posts from afar with interest: me, every December for the past few years. I consider, I have several, I can’t decide, I bail on the commitment. Not this year.

I had a rough go last year; burned myself out. Couldn’t do all I needed to do to care enough for others. Everything I did just wasn’t enough in my eyes. I skipped lunches to run clubs or to spend time with someone who needed it. I led a team through a substantial TLLP grant, spending many hours planning, purchasing and tracking expenditures. I shared my learning. A lot.

Burning out isn’t fun, but in our profession there are many ways back. I chose to start fresh at another school. It was just what the doctor ordered and I’m beginning to feel refreshed.

My first #OneWord thought was Wellness. When I was a new mother, my own mom used to say “if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of the kids”. This is so true in education as well. If I am exhausted, stressed, depleted, how can I offer my students 100% of me? Putting limits on what I do gives an outcome that is more beneficial to my students and my colleagues.

Reading this today solidified my thought of Wellness. I know that I’ve been guilty of being the kind of teacher portrayed in this piece: one who puts her students before her own needs, one who will be on the receiving end of aggressive behaviour yet won’t do what often needs to be done because of mitigating circumstances. I know many a student with severe anger issues but have awful things going on in their lives;  I just can’t add to it. Part of Wellness is doing what is right for myself, along with doing what’s right for others.

So, Wellness. But I wasn’t sure that was enough. I’m already making choices to be Well, and for my students to be Well. I wanted to go deeper, to push myself beyond this. So, my #OneWord is…….. Intention. I want to go beyond self-care and really think about my practice. Throwing away the filler, the crap, and not worrying so much about stuff that doesn’t matter. Making sure that what I’m spending my time on is worth it–to my students’ engagement, to assessment, to curriculum. I want to plan my practice with Intention. Everything for a reason, a good strong reason, or it’s out. I want to spend extra time (before and after school and nutrition breaks) doing things that will make a difference, will be impactful.

Practice with Intention will be a lot of work. A lot of reflection and critical thinking, but I believe it will affect my Wellness, as I do away with much of the frills.

Thanks to Julie Balen for sustaining the #OneWordOnt movement!

4 Responses to “my #OneWord”

  • Sue Dunlop Says:

    Love your word. We can only make a difference for ourselves and others with intention. Also, wondering if you have read Essentialism? If not, I highly recommend.

  • astanfie Says:

    No I haven’t read it. Who is the author? McKeown?

  • adunsige Says:

    I agree with Sue: I love your word! Makes me think of one of my favourite lines in the Kindergarten Program Document: “Why this learning for this child at this time?” Intention in action. Maybe we need to extend this to be “Why this thinking/learning/doing for this person at this time?” A question worth considering.

    Can’t wait to hear how your year goes!

  • astanfie Says:

    Thanks Aviva! I’m already considering the word when I reflect at the end of the day. Will keep you updated!

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