Balancing for a Better Life
Truth time… I am a recovering perfectionist. I have always had difficulty finding balance because I’ve always thought, “I need to do better” in all areas of my life. You’d link as a Libra I would be better at balancing the myriad obligations of an educator and human, but alas, I am not!
“Balance” is not only the theme of this month, it’s the theme of my 2022. I’m getting serious about it. After far too many years of operating at “perfectionist level”, I need to learn how to balance before I burn out. This is one of those hard realizations brought to me courtesy of pandemic teaching. I am sure that I am far from the only teacher that has found difficulty in balancing their personal and professional lives over the past several years. To those of you that did find balance, kudos! I will be looking to you for inspiration!
This year, I decided to have some fun with planning for balance. I’ve made myself a Vision Board for 2022. If you’re not familiar with vision boards, here’s a brief overview by Kasey Bell from her blog Shake Up Learning: “A vision board is a collection of images and words that represent the things you want in life–the things you want to do, the things you want to learn, the things you want to be.” Not only can this be a powerful tool for teachers each year, but it can also help our students set themselves up for success.
You might be thinking, “Why bother with a vision board? Isn’t that just some creative fluff?” Like most tools in life, it depends on how you use it… I like the visual reminder of my goals, and making a digital vision board brought me joy while pinpointing my goals. As an added bonus, because this is digital, I can set it as my desktop and have visual reinforcement daily.
This is Social-Emotional Learning in a nutshell. It is powerful. It is personalized. It promotes metacognition. It is EASY and it is even NO PREP if you use my Vision Board Template. We know that visualization is a powerful tool for reaching goals, so why not do this for ourselves and even with our students? As long as you have a PLAN for how and when to follow-up with students (maybe once every few weeks have a look-back and check-in on goals), then creating a vision board can be useful, HEALTHY and fun for students.
If your students are anything like mine, they’d love to create a digital vision board, share it with their peers, and set their sights on the possibilities of 2022. Let’s help them (and ourselves) find inspiration for success. I’m envisioning a balanced 2022, what are you envisioning?!