Over the last few years, I’ve committed myself to the same resolution when the calendar changes to January 1. I will go to bed before 11.This is a simple goal and has a noticeable impact on my well-being.
Yet here I am mid-January wide awake and typing away on the computer at 11.30 pm.
Holidays lull every teacher into thinking we have superhero stamina. The enforced downtime enables time for reflection and results in a desire to don a cape on return to the classroom.
- Do less talking and more listening to my students.
- Set a timer on my watch to make transitions smoother.
- Email class parents with positive anecdotes about their child at least once a week
- Set aside time each week to make awesome wall displays of student learning.
- Sort out that pile of papers sitting in my filing cabinet by Friday.
- Get back into the habit of blogging at least once a week.
The first week of teaching reminds teachers we are mortal. By Thursday I’d broken resolution 1 and 2. Those papers will be mocking me from filing cabinet at the end of the year. By the end of the next holiday, I’ll come up with a similar mental shopping list of SMART targets.
As an inquiry teacher, I wondered why do we routinely make resolutions we don’t keep?
- Procrastination. Why did I wait until the holidays to decide I needed to take action?
- Direction. What might this action achieve? Is it really worth spending my precious time on?
- Practicality. What’s stopped me from taking action in the past? How might I achieve this goal? What might I need to stop doing?
Then the answer came to me.
How might I ask more beautiful questions?
What is inquiry, if not the art of creating a more beautiful question?