Monday, 1 September 2014

The reflective teacher - 30 day challenge, blog one

The topic for the first of the 30 day blog challenge is to think about goals for this academic year.

This is an interesting one for me, because as a freelancer I'm not used to thinking in terms (geddit?!) of the year actually beginning in September.  However, the pattern of my first self-employed year has certainly been term-based - and I have just survived my first school holiday without being at work (although some on-line work has continued, thankfully).

It's a good opportunity to reflect back on the past year.  It's been a time of massive growth and exploration for me - I've been fortunate to try out lots of different things, some of which I have loved, others not so much.  I've learnt some things that I already knew but didn't want to admit, and some exciting new things too.

I get a sense that the next year is going to be similar in a lot of ways.  There are still a lot of unknowns about what I will be doing, and I am conscious of a real need to 'just go with the flow'.  For someone who likes to rush to the end of things (books, days, bottles :) this is a massive challenge.  I like to know where I will be, what I will be doing, who I will be with.  The opposite is scary but necessary in the role that I have actually chosen to take on.  And it doesn't mean that I can't have aims or set a direction - in fact I definitely should.

So, without being too specific (or SMART - sorry to the students who I keep telling to set aims like this), here are my goals:

1.  To continue with the work I've started around developing cultures of political awareness and constructive political relationships in organisations.  This fits with my related projects around getting women into politics, and the national recognition that change needs to happen following the horrific stories from Rotherham.  There are lots of angles to this - Thinking Environment, Community Philosophy, on-line activism.  But is often unpaid, which leads to goal 2...
2.  Consider and invest in ways to marry up the work I love with a live-able income.  There is no reason why the two things have to be mutually exclusive, but believing that they are has really held me back this year.  Which leads on to goal 3...
3.  Look for part-time work opportunities that allow me some flexibility and stability, plus an element of continuity and predictability around the places I go and the people I see.  (I hadn't realised how important this was to me until recently).  And perhaps most importantly of all -
4.  Keep an open mind, keep the faith, and just keep on keeping on :)

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