In class today I had the students talk about their goals for the upcoming year and then write a letter to themselves that will be given back to them in January. The point of this activity was to provide some time for reflection on their goal setting and also to allow them to be very personal (since no one else would be reading their letters but them!) I encouraged them to think beyond school goals and write about personal goals with friends, hobbies, home life, etc. as well. Most of the students were thoroughly engaged in the process and it was interesting to see how seriously some of the 8th graders took the assignment too. While I was in the reflective state of mind I decided that I would write my own letter and share it here with all of you…
I hope everything is going well this year and that the job situation worked out one way or another! This letter is to remind you about how much you believe that everything happens for a reason… Even the crazy, unknown, stress of not knowing has a place in making you grow as a teacher and as a person. Although I would love to write and say that I think you must be in a full time job teaching your dream subjects, I know this very well might not be the case and I also know that’s okay! I want to remind you that some stress is natural and pushes us to do better, but you need to work hard to control and alleviate stress in your life as much as possible. Remember to run, remember to do yoga, remember to read and breathe and relax.
I know how easy it is to get caught up in this little world of job seniority, but I hope that deep down in the bottom of your heart you ALWAYS remembered that what matters the most is showing up (mentally, physically, spiritually) and being there for each and every one of your students.
I hope this year so far has brought you joy and that you took that joy and appreciated it. I hope you are practicing gratitude everyday because you have been privileged and supported through so much. Also, I hope you remembered to return that support whenever you could. Have you worked hard to be a good partner? Daughter? Friend? Did you remember that those relationships are the most valuable thing you have? Please take a moment to appreciate those people in your life who have supported you through the hard and stressful times you faced in the past few years.
The biggest goal I made this year was to enjoy. I hope you enjoyed the little moments and the big ones. I hope you took time to live fully and laugh a lot. In teaching, I hope you enjoyed the classes that you spent time in. In life, I hope you enjoyed a lot of laughter and love with great people. Continue your year looking for enjoyment in the everyday – be excited by your experiences and opportunities.
Be grateful. Be happy.
I want to hear from you:
What are your goals this year?
How do you do goal setting with yourself or with your students?