Get Your Dreams On the Calendar
I hate to be the one to announce this, but August has arrived. For those of you that report to school over the summer, the deluge of staff and students returning to schools is about to begin. For those educators that have been working from home, or the beach, you are about to start gearing up for the new year as you are summoned back into your schools.
Before any of this begins take some time to dream big for the next year. Start by reflecting on what you wanted to change at the end of the last year and pick the three big things you want to do or accomplish over the next school year. Break them down into the key steps that will serve as checkpoints along the way.
I have found that the trick to getting these big changes done is finding ways to hold yourself accountable for the little pieces throughout the year that help you see that you are on your way to your goal and help you feel successful each time cross one off your list. Your calendar is a great tool for making all of this work. Put each of the small pieces of your big goal on your calendar with a 3- 7 day appointment reminder for your waypoint. Then the week before the task is due block out an appropriate chunk of time to work on it. The key is to do this now, and keep that time absolutely sacred.
Encourage your staff or your team to follow the same practice so that a culture of setting aside time to accomplish tough goals is valued. Soon the year will start to fill in on calendars, yet the time to accomplish the really important changes is built in before the mundane daily problems and tasks creep into the year. With the time to get your challenging new ideas accomplished built into everyone’s schedule already, you will be much more likely to get to the end of the year finishing with your dreams in hand.
Dr. Henry (Hank) Thiele is the Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Learning in the Maine 207 Schools in Park Ridge, IL. In this role he serves students and teachers by providing resources and communication and its impact on personalizing education. Before moving into his current role Hank was a high school science and music teacher for ten years while also serving in the role of technology coordinator. His doctoral research was some of the first work investigating “Web 2.0” and its impact on communication, learning, and efficacy in the classroom. His favorite work comes from being a dad of two amazing kids.