Teaching Profession Opinion

#Clarity Is What’s on Tap for 2017

By Starr Sackstein — December 30, 2016 3 min read
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The end of a year is a natural time to reflect and consider goals for the future.

Last year was all about change and this year will be all about clarity.

Spending so much time making decisions and taking leaps, now I have to sort through it all and determine what worked best and what didn’t.

After wading through many of the adventures taken, my eyes are more clearly able to see and now refining questions can be asked and secondary decisions made to continue to chart the course moving forward. It’s the time for pause which is not something I’m really good at.

Part of the reason a word like “metamorphosis” can work so naturally for me, is that I’m a person who is invested in constant movement. Standing still is actually a challenge. Some folks have it in the reverse, but I often leap too quickly and in my haste am careless.

I’m going to work on that this year.

There are many things I can continue to get clear on:

  • Parenting. Although I’d say that this is the biggest challenge in my life, as my son is getting older, I need to continue to assess the situation and start learning to let go of Logan as he gets older. He just turned 11 and will be going into middle school in the fall. I’m not sure where the time went, but he’s a good boy and I have to be okay with letting him have more autonomy. As a parent (and a teacher) I always have to remember to see things clearly to make the best decisions. And honestly, Logan has to be empowered to make more of his own decisions, with supervision of course.
  • Education. I know that my life is in education reform, but I need to make certain I choose the best path. This fall I took a big risk moving to a new school to take on a new role. I’m learning so much about adult learners, myself and struggling schools. It has been a crash course in balance and acceptance. Both of these things were runners up for this year’s word because I can always stand to work on both more. Since I’m always struggling with balance and therefore acceptance of circumstances, taking time to get clarity on my place with these things will help me chart a more definitive path.
  • Personal Relationships. Every person who comes into our lives, come for a reason. I firmly believe this. Some folks are meant to be around for a long time and others are only temporary. Although this can be sad, it’s okay to let go of folks who meant something but are no longer around in the same capacity. Something I struggle with is knowing when to let go of people. I’m deeply loyal, so when I commit to a person, friendship or colleague, walking away always feels like a big loss, one that can feel bigger than deficit that relationship can be costing me if I don’t let it go. Whether I’m afraid of hurting other people’s feelings or just hold on too tightly to the memory of when things were good, I know that I have to take care of myself. This kind of clarity will certainly help me in the new year.
  • Hobbies and Activities. I really love connecting with the things I love but I don’t often make time for these things. I have to work harder to make the time as it has a calming, clearing effect on my life that really helps me feel centered and grounded. It’s a good space to get clear in. Taking a hike (wearing good shoes... as I don’t want to hurt my foot any worse) or taking pictures as well as listening to music or going for a drive are all ways I can get out of my own way and really focus on getting clear. I’d also like to spend more time reading. Words are transporters and sometimes when I can’t get to places beyond the local, I can teleport through a book.
  • Time. By far the most valuable commodity we have and I squander it too frequently. In the new year, I’d like to be more intentional about how I spend my time and with whom I spend it with.

Overall, it’s time for me to really get clear about my life since I’m not getting any younger. There’s too much to see and do and not enough time to take it all in. So it’s time to meditate, slow down and make better choices as the clarity starts to come.

What will your #oneword for 2017 be and how will you make it count? Please share

The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.