For Educators: Happy New Years (times 2)

“Being proactive rather than reactive means to control a situation rather than letting it control you.”

-Unknown

Many people look forward to the New Year as a chance to start again or to make changes in their lives that everyone hopes will make us better people. December 31st  is one of the two days of the year for educators when they get to reflect and then assess whether what they are doing is truly working in their best interest. Did I do good things this year? Was I a good person at home and to the people that I work with?  That also goes along with the myriad of personal resolutions that we all say we are going to follow through on and usually don’t. Unfortunately, resolutions tend to fall apart pretty soon after the New Year and it really isn’t your fault. Any resolution that you were going to make is usually doomed before it even becomes a fully well formed thought.

Think about it. If you really wanted to make changes in your life, why would you wait for the New Year? Since many of the New Year’s resolutions that we make are health related, why wouldn’t you start it when you really needed to?  Did you wake up on December 31st and suddenly notice that you were in need of an overhaul? New Year’s resolutions tends to look good at the time, but when reality sets in and the rubber hits the road, we give up.

In regards to teachers, the same thing happens towards the end of June every year. As the school year breathes its final and debilitating breathe, we look back and take a mental inventory as to what went right and what didn’t. On it’s face, it seems like a good idea to do this, and it is. However, I have to ask the question-If you knew something wasn’t working in your classroom, why wouldn’t you change it at the time? Why do you need to wait until the end of the calendar year or school year before you try to affect some real change in your personal or work life?

My point is this-As somewhat educated people, we should be changing and evolving ourselves and our practice every day and not just in January and June. We should be looking at ways in which small changes can be implemented throughout the year so we can prevent a complete overhaul. Compare your resolution to your car. The manufacture has kindly listed all of the preventive maintenance that you should perform at different intervals so your car continues to run in a satisfactory manner. If you fail to do the little things now, chances that something catastrophic will happen at some point increases dramatically and you will have to spend a great deal of money to repair the damage.

If you are going to have any success with a resolution, try this: resolve to be more proactive in every aspect of your life. Most of us, regardless of race, creed, color, age and sex, tend to be reactive in nature. We seem to have a preoccupation with allowing things to happens to us and then when we are overwhelmed, we try to deal with them, usually not very well. One thing that I have kind of figured out, is that it is usually much harder to fix things than it is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Especially when you know that things are out of sorts. When you make the decision to take a more proactive approach to life, you then decide how you want things in your life to turn out and then take specific actions to make them happen.

Happy New Years!!!!

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