Ok so yesterday I wrote about the questions I have been struggling with and I don't want anyone to think that I have solved them because I most certainly have not. But as I went to log out last night I stumbled on the wekly live chat with the amazing Dr.Jody Carrington who has an amazing book, "Kids These Days" that you can find on amazon and the audio book is amazing and she will be joining me and the #g2great team to chat in a few weeks over on Twitter so that will be awesome. Jody was doing her last weekly chat of the year and I stumbled on it just as she was talking about her closing notes. One point that really stuck out to me was the need for GRACE. Grace for ourselves and grace for others. I was in a really bad mood this weekend and all because I was not making room for myself or others to have some grace. Just that little word really helped me to get some perspective.
Jody continued to talk about the year to come and the resolutions and goals and all that fun stuff that we do every year and issued a challenge. Go Big. Set amazing goals and go for it. But she added another piece, start small. As I type this I think about those gigantic steak dinner competitions some restaurants have and how you get the meal free if you can eat it. We get all excited and order that thing because, well, free food. Then it hits the table and we just try to eat it as fast as we can because maybe just maybe we can finish this massive challenge if we do it fast enough. Inevitably we fail and are paying for it in more than one way. But what if we didn't have a time limit that was unreachable. What if we could take a break when we needed to and come back to it? What if we could start small?
I am not a resolutions person, I set achievable goals and work towards them. Stuff like go to the gym every day but Sunday. Check. Or try something new in the classroom. Check. Read a pile of books. Check. Small realistic goals and complete them. This has been how I do New Years goals. But this idea of going big and start small sounds like it could be fun so here goes.
Goal 1- Get Healthy
This might seem like it is not a BIG Goal for people that know I work out 6 days a week but I also eat a ridiculous amount of junk. I love to go to the gym to start my day, I also love to spend my weekends sitting on the coach watching movies and eating junk food. Food has always been the issue. I get sick when I give up sugar. I imagine I am addicted to it if I was to get serious about analyzing the behaviour. SO my get healthy goal is going to be around my diet, not some restrictive weight loss measure but the actual foods I am taking in. I want to lose 40 pounds by May. That works out to about 10 pounds a month if I start January 1st. Now before anyone comes in and is like Brent that is not healthy weight loss. I have a lot to lose I will be fine. The trick will be making sure my weight loss does not impact my weight lifting because that has been the typical pattern and I can't have that. I also want to join the 1000 pound club so we can add that here.
Goal 2- Get a reputable publisher for my book
I have this book idea that I like to tinker with but right now it is just a document on Pages. I would love it to be more. There are so many books in the field of education but nothing like what I want to do so I think it would have legs. I don't know how to go about getting interest or even seeing if there is any but I feel like I have a voice and would like to share it beyond my blogging opportunities here, with Literacy Lenses and MiddleWeb. As part of this goal I would also need to finish the book so that really amplifies this to a BIG goal as I am struggling with imposter syndrome so badly this year I think everything I write in the book is self indulgent garbage and if that is the case I really could just stick the blog and my number 1 rated (no it really isn't) education podcast (I should record another one of those).
Goal 3- Over come the fear, present at an international conference.
This is by far my biggest goal because I have crippling stage fright. I have had a lot of folxs ask me if I would ever consider presenting and until this year the answer has always been a big old NO. Beyond not being completely sure I have something to add that another speaker couldn't cover, I don't know if my fears would let me. Cut to earlier this year and getting a message in my Twitter DMs. The message asked if I would consider sharing my work as a breakout session at our English Language Arts Council Convention in May. I laughingly wrote a proposal with no assumptions that I would be selected. Then I was... I am excited about the opportunity and it is a great "start small" because the big game goal is the present one day and even this year at NCTE.
Ok so there I have laid them out and I am going for it. 3 BIG goals that I plan to chip away at is small digestible steps. I feel good about these goals and the mindset behind them. I can do hard things, I can tackle big goals and I can succeed.
The other part of my New Years tradition is picking my #oneword to guide me. This weekend my convictions on pushing for what is important in education were shaken a bit. I backed off of my point as accusations that I was unkind were hurled. I have spent the day consider this along with these BIG GOALS and I have settled on my word for the year.
Nothing big gets accomplished when we back down if challenged. The year of 2020 will be the year of Resolve. I am resolved to demand more of my fellow teachers, I am resolved in the fact that I will not stand by and not speak up when I see injustice. I am resolved in the fact that I will no leave the heavy lifting work to those who are oppressed by the weight of it all. I am resolved to provide my students with learning experiences that will not only build their intellect but also their humanity. In 2020 I will more than just look like a mountain ( a fluffy one at times) I will be one. Unflinching in the criticisms that come when others are made to feel uncomfortable because I am asking questions they do not like. I am resolved to be the best teacher I can be for my students and that means fighting for better instructional practices for all kids. It means standing up and calling out bad practice, it means questioning all of the things going on in EduTwitter in the name of creating a brand, selling books and building followings.
I am resolved to refocus on what is important. The 90 sets of eyes I am blessed to work with each day, my personal learning and the realtionships that make me better.
I am resolved that the rest just doesn't matter.