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Good Friday V: Annual Reflections

April 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Each year, I take some time on Good Friday to reflect upon the past year and set a healthy focus for the next 12 months.

Last Good Friday, I spoke to the importance of avoiding measurables as a source of satisfaction. But I’ve lost sleep the past few days, in part because of our new Keurig machine, and in part because of the pressure of the New York State Math Exam coming up on April 25-27.

The very thing I wanted to avoid has been my biggest source of pressure recently.

However, one goal I set on Good Friday 2009 was to be published before I turn 40. Next week, I’ll be 38. Just this morning, our local Post newspapers put out an open call for bloggers, and I submitted a writing sample. We’ll see how this goes.

I feel compelled to be less focused on myself this year. Amy has spent significant time and energy improving her writing, and she posts regularly to her personal blog and to Provoketive. You should definitely check out her work!

Jack is preparing for his first round of No Child Left Behind testing in 3rd grade. His teacher, Mrs. Twamley, is a phenomenal educator with very high standards. Jack is growing in so many ways, but I see signs of 3rd grade burnout. I doubt Jack is alone in experiencing this. Many of my 7th grade students–and I have a wonderful group of students and families this year–appear to be feeling burned out, too.

This is what happens when education becomes a game of demonstrating growth on unpredictable, high-stakes assessments.

Sarah continues to become a strong leader. She has strong opinions and isn’t afraid to share them. But it’s important that I not always jump to the conclusion that she’s being bossy. I need to help her develop a healthy confidence in her abilities and opinions. Amy does this naturally, and I’ll need Amy’s help to understand Sarah better each year.

This time next year, I’ll be 3 months away from finishing my administration program. I’m in no hurry to leave my classroom. My coworkers are awesome, the students enthusiatic, and I look forward to going to school each day.

But I feel ready for a new challenge, and this is one more step on that journey.

Where are you in your journey?

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Categories: annual goals

One Size Fits All?

April 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Of course not. In verses 27-31, Paul reminds us that we all have different gifts and strengths.

Categories: 1 corinthians, paul
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