Another year has passed and it’s not quite been as I expected! And I’m really not sure where the time went – one minute I was trudging through snow in March, the next travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia in August and now suddenly it’s New Year’s Eve again!
This time last year I said 2018 would be the year I slowed down – I wanted less change in my life and more consistency. I see myself 3 things I wished to focus on for the year and here’s how I got on…
#teaching – To focus on ‘will this have an overwhelmingly positive impact on staff and students?’ when considering something new and only, in the words of @leadinglearner, bring something in if it’s a 9 or 10 out of 10!
- From changing how I mark and give feed back to revamping how we support early career teachers at school, I really hope that other people agree I’ve only advocated new things if they were a 9 or 10 out of 10 as an idea.
#learning – To focus on reading, researching, reflecting and writing to develop my contributions to the wider world of education, generally, focused on geography and academically through my EdD.
- This is where 2018 has been the most surprising and rewarding. Sitting in a hotel room in Aqaba in Jordan in April, I found out I’d be receiving the Ordnance Survey Award for excellence in secondary Geography teaching at the RGS Annual Awards in June. It was a surreal evening and I’m still not sure why they picked me as one of the two winners – but I’m glad they did! I’ve also had plenty of opportunities to reflect and write more over the year and enjoyed having the chance to co-lead a session at the WomenEd Unconference in October.
#enjoy – To make sure I stop and take the time to thoroughly enjoy the life I’ve created in the Midlands.
- This year I’ve taken up running, tackled the Monster (giant inflatable obstacle course) at the NEC, been on country walks to find new pubs for lunch, wandered round Stratford Victorian Markets, shopped in the Bullring, been inside a nuclear bunker, climbed hills…and much much more as I’ve explored more of my local area. And there’s plenty more still to see!
So reading this, it’s clear I didn’t manage to slow anything down in 2018 as I’d planned to! But what about 2019? Being honest I’m not really sure I’ll manage it in 2019 either – my diary is already looking pretty packed! – but I am hoping to find my way towards better balance in my life.
In 2019 I’d like to let some things go and to make time for the things I get joy and fulfilment out of – instead of just saying yes to more ‘stuff’ – in every aspect of my life.
In October I blogged about finding my voice and having made a decision about what comes next for me career-wise. I purposefully still haven’t told anyone what that looks like while I work out the logistics of achieving it as it’s going to involve a huge leap of faith to see if I can make it happen! But 2019 is the year I’m going to take that leap of…
- Faith that when one door closes (or you deliberately shut it behind you) another (better one) opens.
- Faith that it’s ok to say no and be a little selfish sometimes to ensure that in the long term things are better for everyone.
- Faith that having found my voice I’m not going to lose it again.
Here’s to 2019!
#oneword2019 – faith
Coming in 2019 to http://www.leading4geograhy.com…
- A series of blogs on “What I wished someone had told me when becoming a leader”.
- A series of blogs on what we need to consider in developing character education in schools.
- More blogs on “The uniqueness of teaching geography”.
- Reflections on using whole class feedback and embedding retrieval practice into lessons.
- Resources to support careers education through Geography lessons – will be introduced in a workshop at the Geographical Association Annual Conference in April.
- Resources to support closing the vocabulary gap in Geography.
Watch this space!