So, here we are, at the end of January. I am at a conference tomorrow and am not sure how much time I will have or if I will have any time to get a blog post up, so I am reflecting and writing today.
It was a great month, a tough month, a look at yourself month, a begin again and then again month. In short, it was a typical January. The good thing about Januarys is that they are followed by Februarys. The shortest month of the year, the best month to keep going, because it is easier to see the end of the month, to set goals and not feel like the end is forever away.
Also, it has some interesting things associated with it. It is National Black History Month, the Valentine’s Day Massacre, Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, President’s Day, several Presidential birthdays…There are so many things going on in February and I just listed a few of them. For such a short month it is packed full of things.
January though, it holds one of my favorite days. National Compliment Day is in January. It is a day when it is acceptable, and in fact encouraged to give compliments out through the day. I was lucky enough to help the Student Government students at my school organize an entire week around this day. It felt great, it felt promising, and while it didn’t fail miserably, I know it was not quite what we were expecting.
Part of my reflection revolves around some questions in Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Planner. Questions that tie right into why National Compliment Day didn’t go as well as we expected. One of those is “Someone I could surprise with a note, gift, or sign of appreciate is…” How often do we really reflect on this, or follow through with it? I am one of those rare people that often send out little messages, or float through an office on campus and hand out hugs. I know though, that this is not the norm. So asking people, high school students especially, to actually write a nice note about someone that they will receive, can be daunting to them. We don’t require them to be nice on a daily basis, or to think outside of themselves to what might make someone else smile through the day.
The other question is “Something that could have helped me feel more connected to others today would have been…” This again leads right into the idea that we don’t connect personally with others on a regular basis. Not only does Brendon’s planner make me think about and follow through on these daily, but it has helped me to see that we don’t require it of others. My students would rather plug in, work online, and barely deal with each other if I let them get away with it. I however require that they turn their phones in at the beginning of the period and interact not only with each other, but with me as well.
This interaction though, it isn’t always genuine. I don’t actually make them answer the same questions I’m answer, although it might be a good idea. In fact, I think that I will start making this a part of their daily thought process in February. How are they deliberately, genuinely making others feel good, and how could they have actually made better connections on their own.
Just typing out this reflection has already made me a better person, a better teacher, a learner, and a doer. I didn’t even touch on my own personal fails, of which there were plenty. I am choosing not to dwell on what I didn’t do, but rather how I can better accomplish what I need to continue doing.
Drop me a comment and let me know how your January went. Have you reflected yet?