Avoiding the Shiny New Thing...

Now that you’ve set your intention for the upcoming school year, it’s essential to COMMIT to focusing on it. Sounds easy right? It’s not. Each year, we hear about a new strategy or program that is guaranteed to positively change the outcome for our students. In some cases, that might be 100% true, and it may be great for kids. The problem is, when we get distracted from our main mission or intention, we lose momentum, and the kids suffer. If there is one thing I (Kasia) struggle with as a building principal, it’s wanting to do all the cool things at once. The highly intelligent administrators and teachers in our district come up with some awesome things that sound so fun! I will immediately start trying to figure out how we can add “just one more thing” into our school improvement plan. This always leads to both myself, and the staff feeling overwhelmed and tired. As much as we’d love to do it all, it's essential to avoid the shiny new things, and commit to your focus for the year. It doesn’t support your intention, it doesn’t need to happen right now. This is hard for the overachievers our profession tends to attract. Something that helps is to keep a list of ideas you want to explore more when you have time and space for it. It may be perfect for your students; it just might not be the right time yet.

Now, you have your intention and areas of focus for the year (keep it to a low number; no more than 3), there is one thing you have to be aware of. You have to be flexible and open to revision in your planned strategies. You don’t know these kids yet! Also, they have just come out of a global pandemic, and so have you. We have all changed in the last 16 months. You may have to revise your instructional plans, while keeping your big intention consistent. What are the BIG things you know will support all kids? Put your energy there first.

For example, your Intention is your main focus or framework for the year. The focus of “All Belong Here,” or “Relationships First” are intentions you might set. You may even have a focus on the What I Need (WIN) block as a way to help all students feel they belong, as they get the instructional support they need. Supporting students in these small guided groups is the framework, but every group looks different each time, due to the kids’ needs. It's important to be aware of this, so it's not a roadblock that derails your plans and leaves you frustrated, ready to throw in the towel or scramble to adopt another teacher’s ideas. Stay true to your intention and avoid the comparison trap! In our experience, comparison does not produce positive outcomes, and honestly, leaves you feeling icky.

Join us in two weeks, as we unpack strategies on how to balance the amazing things you have planned for this year, and also pour into your personal roles and relationships. The goal is to show up 100% for kids, as we also show up for our families, friends, and ourselves, to avoid burnout.

Confidence Coaches 4 Kids are educational consultants. To serve students, we support educators in the following areas: Effectively building trusting relationships; and Integration of Social and Emotional Learning in all content areas; and Engaging instructional strategies.

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