Teacher Reflection

30-day Challenge

I am currently working on a 30-Day Challenge for my MS students. Matt Cutt’s YouTube TED talk (3m27s) really spoke to me – and in our current Social Distancing and a major change to eLearning, I wanted to try and see if it might bring some inspiration. I am hoping that it will give students a chance to do something New or to Refine something that is personally relevant to them. The lovely thing about it – is the 30-days.

30 Days is just long enough to get involved in something – to be obsessive about that chosen thing to give it your best effort. One month is long enough to Fail (and fail again) and to have to work out a number of ways you are going to persevere. Four weeks is long enough to measure subjective and objective growth and collect data on your enterprise. 30-days allows you to Plan and Evaluate your work, it gives you a Goal to consider and mull over. 1/12th of a year allows Reflection, persona Growth, to make new friends or social media groups and maybe a new way to brag or swag over.

Meaningful Physical Education has suggested some pillars to consider as I set my first 30-Day Challenge. How is this Personally Relevant? Will this be Fun? What Motor competency would I like to focus on? (does this relate to my current training or is it complimentary or a standalone thing?) Can I do this with someone else? Who will I turn to for advice and mentoring as I go along?

I thought that I would take up this delicious chance to work alongside of my students and take up a 30-day challenge of my own. I have recently read Kath Murdoch’s most recent blog – and would like to use the three questions she shares to explain my 30-day challenges.

  • What is it that we most value – what do we want to keep?
  • What is it that we must let go of?
  • What is it that we could restore? 

What do I most value? (what do I want to really keep)?

Those who know me, know that I am usually busy with lots of things that I am balancing. What I don’t share often enough is that when these things diverge to the same time line that I tend to hide and feel totally overwhelmed by the things I have committed to that it taints my every interaction and decision. I procrastinate wildly and tend to finish books, tidy rooms, organise my desk and delete files – all while the unfinished tasks lay waiting for me. If I am super honest, the things that I value (not in order of value) include: writing, exercising and training with purpose and with training friends and athletes, professional conversations and banter, creating and delivering content and learning with others, reading fiction (David Sedaris is my current author of the month), spending time doing things with my children and my husband – walking, cycling, board games, folding laundry, cooking. I also value time with my students – and coaching with athletes. I would like to keep doing these things. They are rich in purpose, relevant to what makes me most joyous and feeling purposeful and connected to my life.

What is it that I must let go of?

In order to prioritize my Valuable list, and to focus on the 30-day Challenge, I need to create time by taking away other things. I would love to let go of Shopping for Groceries, and Online banking but I think that might not be useful. I need to let go of things that suck time – probably Candy Crush, Facebook, watching TV or getting caught up in other people’s work (they need to do their jobs, not me). I also must let go of being pedantic – it is okay to do things if they work for me, I don’t need to learn a new app or program at this stage. It is also okay for me to walk away from the News or from conversations or situations that don’t require me or my input. I can also let go of feeling like I need to have my own children outside and being active for hours of the day – just because I am a PE teacher, doesn’t mean I have to worry about their outside time – I am doing the best that i can.

What is it that we could restore? 

In thinking about this, my restoration is challenging as I am not at home in Beijing and so our routines and rhythms are connected to the current ‘home’ we are in and not to our usual space/s. I would like to have less emotional turbulance and know that by being focused on my Values I should see a shift in the highs and lows being so violent currently. As an Age Group Elite athlete, I find motivation really waining so want to be aware of that too. I want to feel creatively restored and learn through that process and I want to try and build some time for a New skill or change up something to add on to my training (without injury please!).

I am leaning towards Writing and Skipping (Jump Rope) as my first two 30-day challenges. I would like to try and Write every day for 30-days. I am thinking of 400-500 words per day as a singular style Blog Post (not sure if I will publish them yet) just to allow me to create, reflect, plan and rant. I would like to skip to add on to the training I am doing and to possibly connect with my children and athlete friends – we could suggest foot patterns, work up to being able to do certain tricks and up to skipping for a set period of time? Still working it out. I am excited and daunted all at the same time.

I am interested to see what others might choose – maybe we could cheer each other on as we navigate New things over the next 30-days.

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