Friday, December 30, 2016

Thinking About 2016

As this year winds down, of course I reflect.

Here are a few stats from this year---

  • I completed 3 book studies for this blog, reading and reflecting through each one. (Well, I'll finish up the reflections on Free to Learn in the beginning of 2017.) 
  • I read a total of 54 books, both fiction and nonfiction. My goal was 60, so I'm a little shy of that, but I'm happy with that result. As I look over the list, it's definitely weighted with more fiction (and mostly mystery at that) but I did maintain my commitment to read a variety of books - history, business, education all in the mix.
  • My top post for 2016 had over 4000 hits - the post on chapter 1 of Free to Learn. Another post this year was over 3000 - a post about a school that had a "no live plants" rule. Wow! Very few of my posts have that many visits. It boggles the mind.

But reflection is more than just numbers or stats. I tried a few new things this year. I added quote/picture posts regularly. A new series (5 Ways to Use...) began. I worked to mix in posts about reflections, philosophy, and practical ideas. The focus of many posts became more about play and its importance in learning. 

One of my favorite posts grew from a frustrating experience I had. Accepting No is an important thought that was reinforced for me - kids can say no to things as well as yes.

And what about that one word for 2016 - PURPOSE? Well, I think there have been several things that have happened this year to make me think about my purpose. I may not be in a classroom daily but I'm still a teacher. Part of my purpose is to help boys and girls learn and grow. And I've found different ways to do that throughout the year. 

Here are a few specifics regarding PURPOSE that I'm thinking and reflecting on:
  • Drill down to a one sentence expression of your purpose. Choose a sentence that encompasses all you do...or can guide you to streamline what you do to fit that purpose.
  • Write it down. Regularly review it. 
  • When a new opportunity arises, test it against your purpose. That will help you decide what to do. Or it will help you refine your purpose sentence.
  • Your purpose should be bigger than your job. And, at least for me, the purpose focuses outward not inward on myself.

These are just a few things I've been thinking about regarding 2016. I'm looking forward to 2017. I have a few plans for it. I'm considering my new one word. I'm thinking about how this blog can adjust to help teachers and children. I'd welcome any input you have. If you have ideas about what you'd like to see here or what I could do better, please drop a note in the comments. 

Thank you for reading Brick by Brick. And thank you for whatever you do that helps boys and girls learn and grow.

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