Schools out. Summers here. This is a time for reflection and renewal. I invite each of you to go about reflection and renewal deliberately, and with a healthy dose of self-honesty.
Look back on the past year and ask yourself:
“What is it that I learned this year?”
“If I boiled my experiences down to the one or two things that had the greatest impact for me; what were they; and what did they teach me?”
“Can I look back to one behavior that I deliberately set out to change and succeeded?”
“What was the biggest risk I took this year?”
“Did I help a student or colleague recognize their unique gifts during the year?”
“Did I use my own unique gifts this year?” “Could I have used them even more?”
“Did I fully express my appreciation to my students and/or colleagues?”
“Did I live and work mostly in my head and mind, or did I bring my heart, and spirit into my work and my relationships?”
“Did I model the attributes and behaviors that I hoped others would exhibit?”
“Did I live and work deliberately, always feeling that I had choices, or was I overwhelmed by the business of day and the operational details that needed attention?”
“Did I make time for the human side of kids?”
“Did I work outside my comfort zone?” “What was most uncomfortable?” “Why?”
“Did I start the year with a set of clear intentions for myself?”
“Did I make time to quiet myself and listen to the wisdom of my own inner voice?”
“Was I happy this year?”
I encourage you to explore these and other questions that only you know to ask. I suggest that you write your answers, for there is something in writing that crystallizes fleeting thoughts and vague ideas, and brings them home to our hearts, our minds, and our spirits.
To be a great leader, a great teacher; one must be a great learner. The beauty of summer is a gift, a chance for us to be present to our own inner knowing, to reflect, to renew; and most importantly, to learn.