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Episode 19: Reflecting On This Big, Giant, New Experiment

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Description: What is the legacy you're currently building? How do you feel about that? From this moment on, what might you change or what might you let go of? What might you reconsider? This week is all about reflection, grace, forgiveness, and moving forward.

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to episode 19 of Self-Care for Educators. I am your host, Tina Boogren, and this week is slightly different perhaps. Rather than a specific strategy I guess to think about, I want you to do some reflection. I just of kind of want to share something that's been on my mind lately, and I've been kind of working through this with some of my workshop participants, and I wanted to bring it to you as well.

I'm going to encourage you to do some reflection on the legacy that you're building and that you're going to leave during this crazy time. This is going to be a year that we'll remember forever. Right? You know, we remember events ... like a lot of us remember 9/11, or we remember when Columbine happened, or we remember when the Challenger exploded. Like, there's those big events. And I would argue that this year ... this school year is an event, right? It's a big, giant, yeah ... huge, new experiment that we're exploring. You know, we've blown up education, and so this is a year I'm going to start with.

Teachers, your students will remember this year forever. I want you to spend some time reflecting. Say it's 20 years from now and your students are sitting around with their friends or their families and the conversation comes up of, Gosh, do you remember that school year? That 2020, 2021 school year? And, I want you to consider how you hope your students remember you, cause they're going to remember you. They're going to say, Yes, I was in fourth grade, and I remember I had Miss B'Avenue as my teacher, and here's what I learned from her. Or, Here's what I remember, is that I had Miss Colton that year, and she made us laugh. That even in the middle of all that craziness, what I remember about that year is laughing a lot. Right? They might not remember those specific details. We never do. We never remember. Yes, that I learned this very specific mathematical equation ... Instead we remember how our teachers made us feel, and that's true always, but oh my goodness, think about how true that is this year. And, that's a real challenge, because of course, of course we're feeling stressed, and we're feeling anxious, but the key is how are we holding those emotions in a place that it doesn't impact our relationships with students? Yeah ... We're going to feel anxious. We're going to feel worried, but how do we set those aside? That when we are with our students, we are building the legacy that we purposely want to leave.

Let me jump up and think about this as also true for my instructional coaches and my administrators and my counselors and my social workers and my principals and my superintendents ... those of you that maybe work with the adults in the building or the adults and the students in the building. Same question, you know, the teachers, teachers are going to say, Yup, I remember that year. I taught 10th grade that year, and this is who my principal was, and this is what I remember about how he led us. Or, This is what I remember about how she made us feel.

It's a lot. It's awesome. Just as human beings, right? Thinking about our families. What is the legacy we want to leave here? I've been thinking about this a lot, a lot with my husband. It's the two of us. We keep thinking, Gosh, when we look back on this, how will we remember it? We have a lot of celebrations that I want to keep building on. I picture my husband, Eric, and I sitting around and saying, God, yeah, I do remember that you were home all the time, and we had to get used to that. But, do you remember all those walks we took? Oh my gosh, we must have walked a million miles. Oh, remember the date nights that we did? We had to get really creative. Remember?

And, I just can't wait for us to think back and be really proud ... Be really proud of things that we made work. Of course, there's a lot of tough stuff too. It's a lot of tough stuff too, but I hope that what rises to the top are some of these big things. So, that's what I want you to do this week. I want you to reflect.

And I know, I really always like to give a concrete strategy. So look, let me throw out some options. I think this is a great thing to journal about. That's what I've been doing. This is where this cropped up, actually. So, perhaps spending some time this week, doing a little bit of journaling around, what do you think of your legacy up until this point for the past six or seven months? What is the legacy you're currently building? How do you feel about that? And then, from this moment on, what might you change, or what might you let go of, or what might you reconsider? And, even if you feel like, Oh my God, I'm not super proud of the legacy that I'm building so far. That's okay. You guys, grace and forgiveness ... and you get to decide right now if you want to leave a new legacy.

So maybe, maybe you've been watching a whole lot of Netflix and drinking a lot of wine and consuming a lot of carbs. And, you're feeling like, Oh my God, that is not helping me at all. Guess what? Right now, in this moment, you get to change that. You get to turn off the TV. You get to put the wineglass away, and grab the sparkling water. You get to decide that you're going to have a treat on Saturday, but you know what? During the week, you're going to reach for an apple instead. I don't know ... I'm just throwing things out there. I just love the idea that we're still in it. We're absolutely still in it. We're still in the messy metals. So you get to change it.

Maybe journal about it. Maybe this is a conversation that you're going to purposely have with your partner or with your staff or with your students or with your friends. It's something that maybe you want to bring up and consider and think about maybe with your own children. There's a lot of important conversations that we can be having right now when we've got a little bit of time to have them. So maybe, this is something that you want to have a conversation about.

Here's what I want you to do. I want to be really careful about how you talk to yourself, and when you reflect, I don't want you to feel bad. I don't want you to feel guilty. I don't want you to feel ... no ... no one's winning. No one's doing this better. We're all just figuring this out. So, I want you to be really kind to yourself. You're doing the very best you can. Right? Remember Maya Angelo's beautiful quote, We do best we can until we know better. And then we do better. I think she said it way more beautifully than that ... You get the idea. Talk to yourself with so much kindness, remind yourself that you are #flawsome and think about man, what a gift of the legacy that you're going to leave.

What does that look like? Starting now? And, I'd love for us to jump over into the Facebook group and kind of share. I'd love to hear that. I see that hope that you are creating and that you're leaving for not only students and staff, but for your family and for yourself.

What's the legacy you want to leave for yourself? Awesome.

As always, thank you so much to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you to Solution Tree and Marzano Resources for allowing me, gosh, to do this job that I'm so grateful for. And, of course, the biggest shout out to you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. I am so grateful for you, and I'm so grateful for the legacy that you are leaving.

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