Where do you find your inspiration? At the end of the school year, I reflect on my practices and think about how I can make them better for the future. Sometimes these reflective practices continue into summer and bear fruit in the new school year while other times my ideas die on the vine and I stop thinking about work until the end of summer. I am determined to make the choices and changes to bear fruit this year. How will I do this?
To begin with, I have found that while stressed, I tend to eliminate the good and healthy practices I had at one time established. I am using this summer break as an opportunity to reinvest in myself. I am doing this by:
- Returning to healthy eating habits (paleo)
- Beginning to exercise again
- Spending quality time with my friends and family
- Focusing on my spiritual growth
- Spending time working on my professional development
I have already started seeing results. I've lost several pounds by eating healthier and exercise. I feel more connected to my friends and family. I am spending more time with my bible. I am reading books and learning about ways to improve my skill as a teacher. My inspiration for these changes is to make the present and future better than the past, not that the past has been horrible. I have had a couple of challenging years in the classroom recently however and this too serves as a catalyst for changing my practice and approach. My desire is to incorporate methods to best reach the groups of students I serve and I think that something I need to do to grow in this area is to change my discipline approach. I have used our traditional progressive discipline model for a long time now. I have found in recent years, that this approach is less and less effective in changing student's behavior. I have started studying restorative practices as an approach to addressing discipline concerns as well as developing a more culturally responsive classroom environment. My goal is to create a healthier culture and climate in my room where students feel a part of a bigger community and feel valued and respected. My inspiration is to create a healthier way of being for myself and my students. I know the most challenging part for me will be when things start to get stressful again and I am faced with the choice of taking the easy but less healthy approach or the harder but healthier path. I will face this struggle both in my classroom and with my personal wellbeing. I am hoping that by building some of these habits now and preparing for success during my summer break, I will be able to make harder and healthier choices in the future.