A Very Happy, Hopeful New Year

If you made it through the excitement of last night, my hope is that you are enjoying the first day the of the new year on a hopeful note. These last many days in our family have been full of wonder, having a four and six year old experience the magic of Christmas and counting the blessings of family. They have also been checkered with constant reminders how fortunate we are to enjoy every day on this Earth, having an uncle in the hospital and having our youngest experience a scary allergic reaction this during this week.

I continuously come back to the thought of being grateful for what we have, and that mindset makes me genuinely happy. I’m in the middle of Becoming, by Michelle Obama, and she talks about one friend living her life as if, “happiness was her currency.” I think I can get on that boat for life, if I’m not already there. At this time of year, I am again reminded to work hard enough to be able to take a few days off to reset, and to enjoy life each day as it truly is a gift just to be here experiencing the wonder of it all.

As I think of 2019, I think of simplicity. I only want to focus on what good I can put into the world through being a parent, a wife, a teacher and a friend. I want to be all in wherever I am and be fully present. It is SO HARD to do this, but step one is to not overcommit. I’m going to select my goals wisely, knowing life will have enough surprises to throw in on top. Last year I consumed many Marie Forleo videos, ending 2018 on this one, an easy one worth sharing as we take on the goal setting process for the new year.

With my planning from that short video in mind, I can now transfer my goals to action. I can add them to my calendar and make sure they are real. I can also pay this process forward by taking actionable steps with my students tomorrow. They may be young, eleven and twelve year olds, but I hope my students and my own kids learn the power of reflection and goal setting at a young age. I don’t know where their minds will be tomorrow morning as they return from a long recess or how seriously they will take this exercise, but I have pretty high hopes because they are pretty awesome kids.

Here’s my plan for them on our first day back from break, wrapped up in a happy little Power Point. It starts with a simple overview of basic classroom expectations, but then goes into the goal setting questions I’ll discuss with each class and have them journal. While I also have to get back into the curriculum — vocabulary, reading passages, writing mini-lessons — I’m going to take the first 40 minutes tomorrow to reflect and set goals, setting us up on a path for success as a small community of learners moving forward together for the remainder of this school year. Please adapt and use the document however you see fit, and if you want the printable worksheets that are at the end for your students to write on and hang around the classroom, you can find them on my TPT page.

Thank you for taking time to read, time to reflect, and be a part of the journey with me.

Wishing each of you a happy, hopeful new year!

Kelly PascarellaComment