|My cousin Johanna, sister Claire, and me 'deep in the heart of Texas.'|
Anyway, I want to share one more thing about the habits with y'all before I begin going deeper into each habit individually. If and when you begin teaching the habits in your classroom, it is important to start with habit #1 and move along from there because the first three habits must be established, well understood, and used effectively before the others can truly be utilized. You see, the first three habits are all about YOU and your PERSONAL victories. You must take responsibility for yourself - your choices, behaviors, feelings, wants, needs, etc. - before you can begin to work with and for others. You must take time to determine your values and beliefs so that you can effectively identify how to take charge of your life (be proactive), what you need to do to accomplish and achieve your goals (begin with the end in mind), and what your priorities should be to ensure you do accomplish and achieve those goals (put first things first).
One of the most important (and most emotional) parts of our training was when we were given time to write our personal mission statements. We reflected on the things we'd learned, took into consideration the people and principles we valued most, and spent time thinking, writing, and revising our statements. This was by far the most meaningful thing I did during our training - I don't often give myself time to think and reflect on the kinds of things I want for myself and others or what I need to do to ensure those things happen, and once I started thinking about all the people I love and the children that have been and will be my responsibility for a year, the floodgates opened. Writing a mission statement is so much more than just making a list of things you want to accomplish; it's about figuring out the kind of person you want to be. You must consider what you will need to do today, tomorrow, and every day to ensure you become and continue to work on being that person.
I want to encourage you all to take some time for yourself in the next few days to reflect on the kind of person you want to be and the kind of life you want to live. Begin by thinking of the people around you - your friends, family, coworkers, etc. - and consider what you need to do to maintain and strengthen your relationships with them. Think about yourself, and what you need to do to take care of YOU! I know this all might sound kind of cheesy, but I can't tell you how empowering it was to realize I have the ability to give myself the kind of life I want. I had to be real and honest with myself, and I had to accept the fact that there are some things I need to change and some things I need to work on to make sure I become the person I know I can be. I now know I have the ability to impact myself and the world in a positive way: the training pointed me in that direction, and it's up to me to follow through.
If you would like to work on creating your own mission statement, Franklin Covey has an online tool to help you organize your thoughts and get started - click here to check it out. I hope y'all will consider taking some time for yourself to think about your own personal mission statement, because it will feel so good if you do! I know many of us are thisclose to starting a new school year, and I personally can't wait to start because I know exactly what kind of year I want to have for both myself and my students, and I know just what I need to do to make sure it happens. While mission statements are very personal, I'd love to hear if you took time to write one or started taking steps towards writing one!
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend, friends!