Developing a routine for reflecting on your purpose
There is so much happening around us at any given moment. The COVID-19 Pandemic has added so many layers to our lives. The continuous trauma, lack of stability, and uncertainty surrounding the regular necessities of life have contributed to a dimished attention span especially for students. Couple this with the constant changes that have are taking place within the workforce, both parents and educators are juggling priorities on a minute-by-minute basis.
As educators we must maintain an empathetic mindset towards both our students and parents. This will require us to self-reflect on our purpose often.Tweet
Emotional Equilibrium is Essential
To do this, we must keep our own emotions equalized. This is easy said than done. After all, we also have the distractions of life and constant changes in the educational landscape to cope with. Routinely reflecting on the purpose of education is essential and must be intentionally included to keep our attention centered on what matters most…educating our children.
Customs and Values
School-wide customs and values lay the groundwork for helping to keep everyone focused. Customs are the foundation which guide the behaviors in schools. These unwritten rules should be analyzed to make sure they are contributing positively to the environment and model the reminder of remaining focused on the overall purpose of the school. In comparison, there are written and unwritten customs found within each classroom. When was the last time, you and your students discussed these qualities and their effect on teaching and learning?
Reflect on these questions:
How often do you and colleagues revisit your school’s mission and vision?
Is there a mantra created to focus the work you do and remind you of your purpose?
Have you shared this mantra with your students and parents?
If the answer is no to any of the above questions, what can you do to tomorrow to help recenter the focus in a positive way?
Helping students and parents focus on the purpose of education
Parents want the best for their children and students strive to do their best for us. With so many distractions, it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain focused on school and education. Just as you will have to work to stay on track, it will be important to continue to remind our parents and scholars to do the same.
What routines have you embedded to help everyone stay focused? Parent newsetters, video emails, and monthly phone calls are great methods for engaging with parents and student, resetting mindsets, and centering them on the power of education.
Consider integrating these routines into your instructional day to help parents and student maintain their focus on education:
- Create a Class Doctrine/Classroom Constitution which outlines the expectations and recite it with students/parents at the beginning of the school day or parent meetings.
- Use the last five minutes of class to have students reflect on whether they displayed the classroom expectations throughout the day.
- Spotlight students who lived up to the ideals set forth in the Class Doctrine/Class Constitution during the Morning Meeting to recap the previous day.
I have added additional resources for your to continue learning and increasing your knowing on this process. Thanks for visiting Digital PD 4 You!! I am inviting each of you to sign up for our bi-weekly email list and follow our Facebook Group. Be safe and download the free resources from the first volume of Educator Reflection Tips.
- Arlinghaus, V. and Johnston, C. (2019). The Importance of Creating Habits and Routines.
- Fowler-White, J. (2021). Educator Reflection Tips, Volume II: Refining Our Practice.
- David, S. ( ). Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life.
- Greenwood, V. (2014). How to Be Better: The Power of Habits .
- Positive Parenting Solutions (2021). 7 Ways to Promote Good Study Habits.