We are well into the new year and most of us will be back into their daily rhythms. Hopefully many of you had a chance to spend some time together as a team for preparing for the year ahead, reconnecting, and re-sparking your passion and drive that naturally wanes a little at the end of a long year.
There are two ways to approach this time of preparation - you can leave the inspiration to be impromptu, hoping that the newness of the year is enough of a 'rev up', OR you can choose to plan your days of preparation consciously to ensure you're off to the best start possible.
We have other decisions to make too, each one leading to another.
Do we spend this time simply serving the child, looking exclusively at what they need, OR do we remember there are two people crucial to the heart centred teaching relationship - the child and the adult.
If we do put time into ourselves, do we focus solely on the teacher, looking at 'teacher skills' and measurable attributes OR do we look at the person as a whole self - someone whose teacher self is found within, not as a separate entity?
Then, do we take this focus on ourselves so literally that we look at each individual as being on their own journey, with their own solo path and the ultimate responsibility for their own development OR do we take a more collaborative team approach to connecting, journeying together, and a shared responsibility for everybody's well being and development?
They are all very important and valid questions.
The importance of being prepared in the fullest sense - as teachers AND as people, in the heads AND hearts, is too important to be left to chance.
Enrich where and who you are
This is where the InJoy Heart Energiser comes in. During this weekend with kindred spirits, either as a team, or individual, we will take you on a 'heart journey'. We will help you pull out what's already within you, 're-lighting your fire' and adding practical wisdom or food for thought to enrich where and who you are.
It’s a weekend of stepping aside from the exclusive focus on the children's environment, resources and paperwork which normally fill the teacher only days or preparation meetings. This is not just valuable, but actually vital in sustaining your own place for a successful year.
Investing in yourselves is an investment in the children in the long run. Rather than robbing them of time, you are filling your own vessel in order to be able to give even more to them.
By starting from a very 'full' bucket to drip from, you will be able to be more engaged, more authentic and more present!
Growing from the heart
Here at The Heart School we value the person, and cannot take a compartmentalised approach to who we are outside and inside our work environment. The view that professionalism means leaving your real self at home is unrealistic and doesn't sit well with us.
We believe in taking responsibility for the energy we bring into the space and not allowing our practice to be severely impacted by personal worries. This can still mean being honest, sharing what is happening and being able to help and support each other. In this way the compassion in the team is not only for others, but for ourselves as fallible humans.
It is our humanity that is perhaps our greatest strength as teachers, and we need to use this, not bury it away to only present a so-called 'professional' front.
Our children need and deserve 'real', not a facade.
For all our individuality and personal strengths, most of us are above all a team. A collective rev up is always going to be more powerful than when we focus solely on ourselves. It is a less lonely journey too, when we travel it together. It is not an either/or scenario. We can be both strong individuals AND a strong team.
The song in our hearts can grow quiet when we are singing it alone, but we can build a chorus when we add other voices.
We see this time spent as precious re-fueling. These small hours spent will pay us back in a year worth of inspiration, connectedness and direction. Our children's growth is too important to leave to pure chance, AND so is ours!
(This article was adapted from a previously published blog post 'Growing from the Heart')
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Check out our two upcoming professional development treats. You can join us at the InJoy Heart Energiser or the Heart of Business Seminar. Both treats will take you on a heart journey to re-fuel, be more prepared, be inspired and have direction.