What’s your personal vision for 2014-15?
In September, many schools spend time revisiting or renewing their school vision.
But what about your own personal vision for the year ahead? What are you aiming to achieve for yourself?
At the end of last term, or during the holidays, did you find yourself saying:
“Next year I’ll do ____ better/differently” or something similar?
As you approach the autumn term with renewed enthusiasm, you’re open to new possibilities, you see things with fresh eyes, and perhaps there’s new hope for the year ahead.
So now is the ideal time to plan for how things will be different this coming year.
A different perspective
When you’re thinking about what you want to achieve, sometimes it’s useful to think about it from a different perspective. So let’s start with a bit of time travel …
Imagine it’s August 2015. The summer term is over and you’re reflecting back on your achievements over the past year.
What have you achieved …
- in your teaching?
- with your classroom management?
- in your interactions with colleagues?
- in terms of new skills learnt?
- in how you manage your time / role / tasks?
- in your team development?
- in terms of curriculum development?
- with your leadership skills?
- for whole school development?
What else have you achieved?
Armed with this information, you are now in a good place to develop your personal vision for 2014-15.
Developing Your Personal Vision
1. Pick the areas above that most relate to your role, and any others you’ve thought of that are relevant.
For example: Time management
2. List your achievements for each.
– I was able to prioritise well, had a good system, and didn’t get side-tracked very often by unnecessary tasks/demands on my time
– I got very good at being assertive with some colleagues when I needed to be, and they respected me for it
3. How do you know you’ve been successful? What will you be seeing, hearing and feeling that will be different?
– I saw the joy on my own children’s faces when I was able to get home sooner
– I had positive feedback from staff about getting things done
– I felt much more positive about my ability to manage my time more effectively
4. List the possible routes you took (and resources you used) to achieve these.
– I took part in some assertiveness training (which was part of a school Inset Day)
– I identified the assertiveness tools and skills I would develop and use, and under what circumstances I’d use them (including with whom!)
5. Coming back to the present now … use this information to formulate your personal vision for the coming academic year. (Make sure this is something in your control and not someone else’s.)
E.g. My personal vision for next year is … To develop and use assertiveness skills to improve my time management
6. Look again at your list of possible routes. Can you think of others?
– I could ask for further assertiveness and time management tips and ideas from colleagues and online (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn)
7. Visions are big picture goals, so it’s helpful to ‘chunk’ them down into bite-sized pieces that will make the steps you need to take clearer and more achievable.
– By the end of the autumn term, I will have had training in assertiveness skills, and identified what I need to change / do differently in order to manage my time better
– By the end of the spring term, I will have trialled some of these ideas and developed my skills, then evaluated which work best and when
– By the end of the summer term, I will have embedded these skills and will be confident about using them. They will be natural; I won’t have to work hard at using / remembering them!
You can also break down these smaller targets into half-termly or monthly goals if that helps.
As you achieve the different steps to success (which ‘chunking down’ provides) you’ll build momentum, which in turn will help keep your motivation levels up!
If your motivation levels need an additional boost, there’s also some help here.
Would love to hear what your visions are for the year ahead! Feel free to share these below.
I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.