Sunday, July 20, 2014

Setting Priorities

As I prepare (somewhat unwillingly) to face a new school year in a few weeks, I am also preparing for a major shift in my role as a teacher.  While each year has brought at least something new to teach, whether in grade level, content matter, or both, this year I will step into a role as a teacher-leader.  Sure, sure, I've had some leadership responsibilities, here and there, but now I will chair my department.  A colleague whom I admire greatly, herself the departing chair, recommended me for the position, and though I had many reasons to say no, I finally said yes. The day I accepted, I wrote to her and asked for some recommended reading.

After much procrastination (my excuse? it's summer), I started to read Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Rather than blazing through the book without stopping - if I read it, then it counts as learning it, right? - I am reading it habit by habit.  Before I move forward, I need to create my personal mission statement.

This sounds hokey and awkward, but I often have conversations (with myself, as well as with peers) about how to make the most out of my time, how to give my best self to what I most value.  I brainstormed, I considered, and finally I have my 2014 Personal Mission Statement.  If I write it in a public place, I'm more likely to hold myself accountable for it.  Still, as I tell my students about seating assignments, I hold the right to change this as needed.

In fact, as I ran 13.1 miles today, some of these did change shape. Hey, I needed something to occupy my mind while I ran. But, at least for today, here we have it...

Love, Listen, Learn, Lead: My Personal Mission Statement

I strive for personal, physical, professional, and spiritual health.

I am, first, myself, a daughter of God.

I am a mother and wife and willingly give of myself to both my son and husband.

I am an adult daughter, learning how to navigate the complicated, lifelong waters of parent-child relationships.

I am a Christian, a Catholic, a person of faith, and I will make time for prayer, for Bible study, and for church activities.

I am a friend and commit myself to seeing my friends and to communicating with the people I care about outside of social media.

I am a teacher. I will love and respect my students, giving them my best while bearing in mind that teaching is one part in my multi-faceted life.

I am a manager and leader, and I will remember to listen as I lead.

I am a runner. I respect and honor my body and will push it to new levels.

I am a photographer. I have talent, and I need to develop it through practice and education.

I am a writer. I will write about what matters to me.

I am human and make mistakes, but I will learn from the mistakes and continue to grow as a person.

What's your mission statement? What are your priorities?

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