A Time for Reflection…

So here we are, a week into a brand new year with all of it lying stretched out before us. A clean slate of endless opportunity and promise, just waiting to be brought to life with each new day. I love coming back from the first semester break honestly, because I get to hear all about the holiday adventures, and I get to bask in all the smiles as we gather together again as a community. Students and teachers seem refreshed, and renewed, and excited to begin again, and eager to make this the best year of their lives. There’s a positive energy in the air that is palpable, with everyone eager to start the new year off on the right foot. I wrote a post a couple of years ago that I’d like to highlight again today, as I think it still rings true as we start 2016…here is a piece of that post that I hope will resonate with many of you…maybe for a second time.

 

When people talk about the beginning of a New Year, the conversation inevitably turns to New Year’s Resolutions, and all of the amazing changes that people are going to make in their lives. From quitting smoking, to getting in the best shape of their lives, to spending more time with family, or to being a better correspondent to old friends. We all start the year with super high expectations and a new commitment to a better life. For many people however, these resolutions are empty promises that for whatever reason seem to fade before we finish the climb to spring. So instead, I want to encourage everyone to think about some New Year’s Reflections, and to use the promise of a new year to better yourselves through a focus on the how and why of change, and through a commitment to purpose and meaning.

 

In my opinion, the act of reflection is the most important part of learning and growing as a person. Whether it’s personal or professional reflection, the power of looking back is paramount. Thinking about your actions, your beliefs, your attitudes toward others, your reaction to things that may not have gone your way, or even the way you see yourself, your worth and your value to others and the world……….this  is remarkably profound. Without reflection, the opportunity to discover yourself and your potential is lost. Taking the time to think about how you learn, how you teach, your relationships with students and colleagues, and how you can give every aspect of your life more meaning is a necessary step before you make those concrete resolutions.

 

So with that said, I want to wish you all an amazing 2016, and I truly hope that it’s your best year to date. Make a point this year to continue to learn, and to grow as a person/educator, and to take risks, and to reflect on what’s going well…and what you could be doing better. We’re only one week into the new year…with the endless possibilities stretched out before us…so reflect on the past year, look longingly to the future, and most importantly, live in the present. Our lives are made up of small, simple, day to day choices which make up and affect our lives, so take the time to reflect early and often, and watch your year begin to take shape into something beautiful. A clean slate is a gift for us all so be purposeful about how you bring this year’s portrait to life.

 

Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. Here’s to an amazing 2016!

 

Life I am the New Year.


I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about a life of reflection and giving.


All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me,
waiting for you to search it out with more determination.
All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve
is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.
All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will,
All the faith that you claimed but did not have —
these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened
by the touch of a strong purpose.


I am your opportunity
to renew your allegiance to a life fulfilled
I am the New Year.


— Author Unknown

 

Quote of the Week….

The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates

 

Inspiring Videos to Start Your Year – 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwKyauE_l-k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUOpqd0rQSo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atNiYtCTcPc

 

Interesting Articles About the Power of Reflection –

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/eileenchadnick/reflect-on-new-year_b_8899132.html

http://99u.com/articles/7120/simplify-your-new-years-resolution-process-reflect-select-remove

http://www.inc.com/geil-browning/personal-reflection-get-started-with-these-5-questions.html

http://blog.kevineikenberry.com/leadership-supervisory-skills/the-power-of-reflection-2/

About Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 
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One Response to A Time for Reflection…

  1. Sandra Campos says:

    Dear Daniel,
    I am new to TIE and I simply love your writing style. You write so vividly and choose videos and readings that truly add to all you mention. As I read ” A Time for Reflection” the only thought that kept coming to my mind was, if we were more reflective the world would be a better place to live. If we only took the time to really reflect, believe, and commit to a new idea, relationship, or task at hand resiliently we would impact those around us and that is a start. The “Thank You Project” video is inspiring and it, indeed, watered my eyes. Thanks for taking the time to inspire others through your writing.

    Have an awesome 2016,
    Sandra

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