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Auld Lang Syne

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?

The first month of the new year is almost complete. As I work in schools with teachers and leaders, they are, in a word, tired. The energy with which they launched into the new year has dissipated, the temperatures have dipped colder, and the promise of spring feels much too far away.

As conversations get deeper, I realize that many of the resolutions they made just three weeks ago were one-sided. They resolved to embed more problem-solving skills, flip parts of their classroom, or ironically, be more balanced educators by getting to the gym and meal planning. However, in none of these conversations are educators discussing what they have committed to stop doing.

How are you making space for new strategies by letting the ineffective ones lapse? Where are you giving yourself grace to design new instructional materials even if it means your bulletin board isn't updated for another week or student teams remain the same for a few more days? Are you finding more efficient ways to grocery shop and house clean to make time for the gym and meal prep? The act of stopping is almost as important, if not more important, than the act of starting.

Where can you find more space in your day - not by cramming in more but by doing less? We need to forgive ourselves for letting practices (and sometimes people) go at times. As we "KonMari" our closets, I wonder how we go about taking the same steps in our professional practice. How are you freeing up head space to give your resolutions a chance? What brings you (and ultimately, your students joy), and what will you stop doing to make it happen?

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