Give the Gift That Promises a Lift!

Waking up on my first day of our winter vacation, filled with gratitude after a great night’s sleep. Vacations provide a much needed break to rest, replenish, and rejuvenate. But they also provide a stopping point that mark accomplishment. We did it. We made it to this point. We won!

But vacations don’t have to be the only stopping points to reflect on accomplishment. Teaching is hard and often we only stop to reflect when something frustrates or upsets us. In reality, our days are filled with many wonderful moments for our students and ourselves. There are many accomplishments that we don’t take time to celebrate because they may seem too small. I think that’s a mistake. One of my favorite sayings is, “Nothing is too small to celebrate!”

So this year I decided to build on the advice of some of my kindergarten friends who asked each other at the end of the day last year, “What’s your win?” I blogged about it in February (What’s Your Win? Feb 2019) but have thought about it all year. So for a holiday gift for all of our new teachers I created a What’s Your Win? book.  It started with a simple monthly calendar/planner. You can pick these up anywhere (and after Jan 1st you’ll get them 50%off or more!)img_5622

Inside I included a short message to encourage them to stop each day and jot (a very micro quick write) something positive that happened that day. It could be professional or personal,  profound or petty.  Those are your WINS!! The point being, there is something positive to be found and celebrated each and every day. Our lives are filled with wins that we neglect to celebrate. Imagine how much a lift you will feel by the end of the month when you see a page full of WINS. Imagine at the end of the year having a book of 365 WINS.  These teachers deserve some celebrations. They deserve a daily lift.

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Can you think of someone who could use a lift as a teacher? Are you and your buddies feeling overwhelmed and defeated too often? Why not pick up some inexpensive planners and give them a gift that promises a lift!? While you are at it, gift yourself, too! What a great way to end each day by asking your colleagues, “What’s your win, today?” Leaving school each day on a positive note sets up a positive trajectory for arriving home to your loved ones. Imagine what a gift it could be for them to have their mom or dad, husband or wife coming home feeling more upbeat and positive after a long day of teaching! Imagine how you’ll start to experience your day when you are on the look out for WINS?

We see what we look for.” – John Lubbock

But don’t wait until 2020. I just read an article in the New York Times encouraging us to practice any New Year’s Resolutions as a “dry run” to help encourage greater success with a new habit. It makes so much sense. Runners don’t enter races without practice, why do we set ourselves up for something meaningful without practice? Grab your planbook, a crumply 2019 calendar, a piece of scrap paper and jot a WIN at the end of a few days over vacation. I hope those wins include sleep, reading, calm, twinkling lights, good food, and lots of love.  Here’s to a year of WINS and some weeks of ‘winning’.

One More Off My TBR Stack

Screen Shot 2019-12-21 at 8.37.11 AMBIG MAGICby Elizabeth Gilbert
Ok, I know this isn’t the KidLit that I usually review, but I’m still thinking about it two weeks after reading and it fits so well with thoughts on resolutions. This book was recommended in a recent Teach Write Twitter chat. It’s been out since 2015 so I am surprised that I missed it, but I am certainly glad that I found it. Elizabeth Gilbert shares the paradoxes of creativity (we are terrified, we are brave…we toil alone, we are accompanied by spirits…art is a crushing chore, art is a wonderful privilege) and invites us to make space for these paradoxes. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the notion that “Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form” that have consciousness and will, and that “the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner.” If an idea taps us to bring it forth we can say YES or NO, and that most of the time people say NO, so it moves on to someone else. This has me excited to welcome ideas into my life and to think about saying YES more often. I also love that she disavows the suffering artist concept and encourages more playfulness and joy. If you are looking to lead a more creative life, I strongly encourage you to bring some Big Magic into it.

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