I went through the line at Dutch Bro’s this holiday, and in true fashion of their business model, it takes only seconds for them to ask if I had any New Year’s Resolutions. I sat back and thought about it for a second. I was thinking about the blog written by Beth Maloney last month, called, “All I Want for Christmas: A Teacher’s Legislative Wish list,” where she asked for what she needed from our legislation this year. Her first request was, “do no harm.” As I thought about this statement I started to think about my own goals for myself as this New Year starts, and it’s simple, “do no harm.” While her blog was written to navigate the murky waters of our legislative decisions. I have decided that it should also be my New Year’s Resolution.
As I enter back into the workplace after this amazing two-week break, I will honor the space my staff is at. If they are tired or struggling to be at work. I’ll support, ask questions, assume the positive, and stick to my resolution. It is easy for us as educators to dredge going back to work after a relaxing break where we were able to sleep in, and I will do no harm by emphasizing the place they are in and instead work towards finding collective passion and motivation for the work we do.
If students are angry, throwing items and punches. Or if a student is arguing to express their extreme frustration, I will “do no harm.” Instead, I’ll ask clarifying questions, set up extra chat sessions, check-in with students, and make sure to engage in the fun stuff. I will be sure to come from a place of supporting students and where they are at in their journey, instead of looking at only the place where they are right now.
If a parent calls and they are frustrated, angry and unsure how to communicate with their child and their team, I will institute a no-judgment space. I will listen, provide support and stay in a no-judgment zone. Taking time to get to the heart of what the problem is instead of offering up a superficial answer to a complex problem. I will not rush to judgment but instead, take the necessary time to get to all of the answers needed before coming up with a solution.
When I sit in a contentious meeting where teams sit on opposite sides. Instead of getting frustrated, angry and assuming, that the other party just doesn’t understand how to best support the student. I will ask clarifying questions, listen instead of responding and take time for pauses. I will again, ” do no harm.” I will take the time the meeting requires to sit back and really get at the heart of where the problem is.
While I usually do not create New Year’s resolutions because I have found in the past my New Years’ resolutions don’t last more than a day or two, this new one motivates me. It has helped me reclassify what I want to accomplish on my campus in 2020.
What is your New Year’s Resolution this year?