I know I got some things right this semester, and on some things, I know I was way, way off.
My goal next semester is to get more things right and fewer things wrong. Isn’t that the definition of learning?
Tim Sanders, Yahoo!’s former Chief Solutions Officer and author of Today We Are Rich, says that when he was growing up, his grandmother would always give him this advice: It’s OK to make mistakes. Just keep making new ones.
I already know I’m going to make lots of mistakes next semester— but I want them to at least be new ones. There’s nothing worse than making the same mistakes over and over and expecting a different result (see: the definition of insanity).
To help me avoid repeating mistakes, when I experience something I don’t enjoy, I spend time reflecting on it, and I ask myself “What could I have done differently to avoid getting in this situation again?” Often, that simple reflective question helps me avoid version 2.0 of something unpleasant. Not always, but most times.
Let me encourage you to think back on the good things that happened in your classroom and with the students you work with every day. Whatever you did to make it a positive experience, plan to do that again. Then think about some of the not-so-good things that happened and ask yourself the question, “What could I have done differently to avoid getting in that situation again?” Come up with a few solutions and write them down for future use. When you do, you’ll be amazed at the results.
I envision great things for next year because we’ve had such an incredible first semester because of the special group of people who choose to call CAC home. The beginning of the spring semester will be here in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait! Let’s make the most of the final three days of the semester, then enjoy the break, and then let’s do this school thing again… only better.