Jordan Collier

The Final Week

I like to write emails to my future self. I know that may be weird, but just add that to the list of things that make me weird (like wearing a pullover every day, never having Mountain Dew in my life, or thinking the first day of the school year is the best day of the year).

Here’s the first email I ever sent my future self:
Subject: Essays
Date Written: November 1, 2012
Date Sent: October 12, 2013
 
Dear Future Me,
You probably have some essays to grade, don’t you? What is the hang-up? You just powered through 50 essays in the past few days because it was the end of the nine weeks.That sounds awesome except you had them in your possession for 26 days total. That’s ridiculous! Don’t do that again.
 
Remember…
-you actually like reading essays
-you really like writing comments to students
-you hate feeling guilty when you give students their papers back late
-you actually like reading essays (don’t forget this)
-you learn a lot about your students by their writing
-you’re keeping a writing portfolio and need as much documentation/examples as possible
-you actually like reading essays
 
Have fun this time. What’s your goal? Two class periods later? Four? Make a goal and actually STICK WITH IT.
 
Sincerely,
Jordan

I still remember writing this. I was teaching 8th grade English and the idea of grading so many essays had been looming over my head for weeks. I had graded about 25 already, but I had 50 remaining and had to get them done. I was drowning, and I knew if I didn’t do something, I’d be in the same boat the next year.
After I got them graded, I wrote myself this email in November 2012 using FutureMe,* put my own email address in the “To:” field, and scheduled it be sent October 12, 2013— almost a full year later (you know, about the time essays would be rolling in for my classes).
I remember receiving that email the next year— with a stack of essays already on my desk. It was hard to read the email and argue with myself. Instead, I thought the guy who wrote the email was a genius and I did what he said. I enjoyed the process, I set a deadline, and I had a much better experience.
Nowadays, I write emails to myself all the time about almost anything— school events, conflicts, frustrations, goals, encouragement, and anything else I think I may want to be reminded of or want to do better the next year.
Let me encourage you to do that this final week of school. Tell future you about this year, the ups and downs, the “next year I’m going to do” ideas, and the “I’m never going to do ____ again” ideas. Then set the date for August, October, January, or whenever. When you get the email, you can read the work of a genius and have an opportunity to grow. As you know, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”
After writing your future self an email, maybe you won’t think I’m so weird after all!

 

*Today, I write my future emails in Evernote (of course!) and then schedule a reminder for a future date. To be honest, the method isn’t that important and I’ll be happy to help you with it. What’s more important is actually doing it.

Jordan Collier

Jordan Collier

Secondary Principal

Jordan Collier is the secondary principal at CAC. Prior to joining the CAC family in 2011, Jordan was an English teacher for the Cabot School District. Jordan is a two-time graduate of Harding University (’03 and ’08) and has a bachelor’s degree in English Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Each week, Jordan shares his Friday Thoughts with the CAC faculty and staff, and an excerpt of that is shared on The 'Stang.

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