A new year, a new job, a new life! It is time for me to take some time to reflect and think about my practice, my learning, and my family. This past year has been a time of huge change in my life. I became a mother (well technically that was really in the last days of 2016, but who is counting?) I have started a new job and have had all the anxiety and self-doubt that many parents experience when leaving their child to return to work.

I was pretty sure my word for 2018 was going to be courage – I liked this word because I do need courage: courage to have important conversations, courage to tackle this new job, courage to leave my baby every morning, courage to write and open my thoughts to the world through this blog… But then I started writing, and it didn’t quite fit.

So, where am I going this year? To the beginning… I am going back to WHY.

Last week, I was reminded of the power of knowing your why. This video has been around for a long time, and it may be familiar to you:

It had been a few years since I had viewed this TedTalk. I needed the reminder that, to really motivate change, you need to know your why. I have felt off balance by going back to work. It has not been an easy transition, and it is easy to let the negativity get in… It is easy to think that so many things are beyond your control. By choosing this word, I think it will help me focus on the important thing – learning!

So, why do I do what I do? It really boils down to my belief that learning is life. It is through continuous learning that we are able to adapt, that we are able to grow, and that we are able to see new opportunities. If you are not learning, what is the point? As an educator, I feel that student learning needs to be at the heart of what I do. I need to support students and teachers to push themselves, to ask questions, and to experience the joy that learning can bring! As a parent, I want to instill a love of learning in my daughter. Maybe instill is not the right word… She already loves learning. You can see her face light up when she masters a new skill – like putting on her own hat! I suppose my job then is to nurture that mindset.

Why also works on a second, more conventional level. It is a question I need to use more regularly to challenge my assumptions, to go deeper into my own learning.

As I start out this year on this new adventure, I am glad for the opportunity to take this time to really think about my own learning and my practice. I need to remember WHY.

Would you like adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?” ~ Alice in Wonderland

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