Reflections on 6 months of 2016

It’s the end of June, and six months have passed since I set my resolutions for the year.    I must note and thank for pointing out we are ½ way through the year and time has passed that quickly that I hadn’t actually realized.

I think the first thing to acknowledge as I think back over the first half of the year is the speed with which time has passed.   This may very much relate to the fact that this year everything is pretty much new to me.   1 year ago I was still working across a number of schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, providing consultancy services and focusing on the IT infrastructure and #edtech within new schools being constructed.    Today I find myself back in the UK working within a single independent school.    The roles are very different.    The work required and people involved are very different.   And the climate is very different…….  Oh I wish for the sun again!!


Looking briefly over my targets I think I am doing quite well.    My blogging target for example was to blog twice per month however for the last couple of months as part of #44weeks I have been blogging at least weekly.   I have also started to try and share additional thoughts via pages on the blog on the books I have read and my favourite apps.

My twitter activity has very much gone through periods of ups and downs however it has always remained about my target of 1.9 tweets per day.   By the end of May I already had tweeted 900 times.

Late last year I achieved Google Certified Educator Level 1 status and the plan was to achieve Level 2.   This is one that I have made little progress on however there is time yet.   In addition I have applied to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert which hopefully I will achieve.   I am also in the process of working towards an IT professional qualification.    These two qualifications more than accommodate for the Google qualification and as such I am considering this target to be progressing well.

With regards my reading of one book per month I started very well however have trailed of a little in recent months.     This is very much due to other workload issues.   The target of 1 book per month continues to be the target I wish to work through however it may be that I will need to work hard on this during the summer holiday period.

As to my other targets I am making some progress in each one and therefore am happy at this stage in the year.   The one big area where I still need to make progress is that of fitness and physical activity which is still very limited.   I think I have the mental want to do this when I reflect but a lack of the motivation to actually get up and do something about it.     I also think that I am still adapting back to the UK after so many years as an Ex-Pat and that this is playing a part in my motivation.    It may be that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is playing its part and in being mindful about how I feel I can identify this as likely.     Having spent years with constant heat and sunshine, with brilliant sunrises being my normal drive to work, I would suggest it is little wonder that the UK weather is leading me to feel a little bit down which is therefore impacting on my motivation to undertaken physical activity especially where this activity might involve being outdoors.    I need to meet these feelings with a positive outlook if I am to address this area for development.

So its 6 months or half of the year done.    The specific targets identified at the start of the year are all well on their way to being achieved or are already achieved so the outlook focusing on these areas is highly positive.   The outlook on the bigger picture and the less tangible is less positive however this relates to the new situation I find myself in and the need to continue to adapt to this new context.     The challenge is to continue to remain positive and to take steps to build on the first 6 months of this year.    In 3 months time I will have completed a full year back in the UK.    I wonder what my reflections will be then, once everything is no longer new?




Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the UK and Middle East.

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