The Year Progress Twitter account is amusing. It only tweets an old-fashioned looking “loading” bar showing, well, the progress of the year towards the end.
It may well be that you feel like “Teacher New Year” (for many, people, the day after Labor Day is the “real” New Year) was yesterday, and you have barely made progress in reaching your goals. I assure you, you have. That bone weary feeling you have right now means that you have worked hard, and need a rest. Take some time to pause, reflect, and think on what goals you have for the “other” New Year. Humans love patterns, we are good at perceiving them, and we love the sweet feeling of “starting over”.
If 2019 is a blank slate, what do you want to accomplish? What goals will you continue to work towards? Is there anything new you want to try?
It could be a time for new habits, new goals. I recently read “The Power of Habit”, and it powerfully describes how, set in our ways though we often are, we have the power to change our habits.
Perhaps you want to consistently get your students in a reasoning routine, like Fraction Talks, or Would You Rather. Build the habit. Perhaps you want to use #VNPS (or little white boards, or whiteboard paint on desks). Create a new routine for yourself. Maybe you want to read more research. Start with one good article. Maybe then you could put it into your calendar or agenda on a regular basis. Habits will form. (You could start with the Boaler curated journal special issue “Dispelling Myths About Mathematics.”
Be kind to yourself though – maybe pick one good goal for yourself in your practice, and find the steps you will need to take to achieve that goal.
All best wishes for the holiday break, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and Happy New Year! 2019 will be great!
Written by Matthew Oldridge (@MatthewOldridge)