It’s only natural to reflect as the calendar changes from one year to the next. It’s a strange time in schools, as there are still six months left, and we are not quite halfway through the school year. The changeover from December to January serves as a good barometer of our progress in school.
I would typically reflect on the most meaningful actions or projects that I’ve accomplished within the first four months of the school year. As I started my reflection on the 21-22 school year, I was drawing a blank. What meaningful work have I accomplished so far this year? It’s been the most difficult year I’ve ever experienced as an educator, and I can’t think of anything meaningful that I’ve accomplished.
In the past, I was able to start a student writer’s group known as the Secret Society of Writers. Not this year.
I’ve often focused on meaningful professional development, and trying and discovering new ways to engage teachers in professional learning. Not this year.
I always try to engage and guide new teachers or serve as a mentor to a budding administrator. Not this year.
There’s been a lot of Not This Year this year.
The logistical demands (rather nightmare!) are simply too time consuming. I’ve spent way too much time focused on just keeping our building open each day. It’s been a lot of juggling staff to simply supervise students, and determining who needs to adhere to health protocols. Each day has become a puzzle of who’s here and who’s not allowed to be here. (It seems to be getting worse with each passing hour.)
When I reflect and ask myself: What meaningful work have I accomplished so far this year?
The only reasonable answer is that I’ve kept our school doors open. The school is open simply for the possibility of meaningful work happening, whether it’s actually happening or not.
Hopefully this is not the year of Not This Year.
Here’s to a more meaningful 2022.