This post is a response to the question Christina Karvounis posed earlier this month.
Pretty soon now the daily faculty meetings will wrap up, the students will return to campus, and our attention will turn to the few hundred teenage reasons we’re here. We will meet students and advisees for the first or thousandth time and coach them through articulating their goals for the year ahead, their information needs, and research questions. So, as Christina Karvounis shared in her recent post, it’s time for us to look ahead to the next several months and figure out where our priorities, mandates, and inspiration will take us. Like Christina wrote, there are some goals and priorities that stick with us from year to year, that, no matter how skilled, innovative, or collaborative we are, will never be an item we can check off. However, some of those things periodically circle forward in our minds and hearts. I think when some facet of this job attracts our particular focus, that’s the signal that the year will feel more energizing and productive if our goals are aligned in that direction. Not to say we abandon all else, but the ways we feel inspired may shift year to year and I think it’s worthwhile to honor these shifts.
Ryder Carroll, in The Bullet Journal Method, advocates for conducting a Mental Inventory to de-clutter the brain and decide what is worth paying attention and energy to – to do so, the journaler writes down what they are currently working on, what they should be working on, and what they want to be working on. I think when we identify where the “should be’s” and “want to be’s” overlap or complement each other, there lie our goals! Here’s my current (school-related) mental inventory:
Summer reading group meeting logistics
Should be working on
Exploring new database authentication methods
Planning research class
Digital badge platform for reading initiative
Want to be working on
Planning classroom visits and book talks
Planning book clubs
Reading about reading
Scheduling author visits
Planning activities for advisory
Redecorating Middle School library
Considering alternatives to Dewey
So this year, my heart and mind are drawn to student-centered reading promotion initiatives, revisiting library policies and procedures in order to have a collection that suits and supports the school community as it is now, and using new strategies to support students’ goal setting and reflection with wisdom and care. The other things are really important too, but my year and my service to our learners may be more effective if effort and time are concentrated in these areas, this year.