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!!

Mid_East

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?

 

 

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Reflections on May 2016

As Victor Meldrew would put it:  “I cant believe it!!”

We are now at the end of May, the 9th Month of the academic year.    Time seems to be flying by as it seems like only yesterday I was posting my reflections on April.    I am not sure whether this is a good thing, as in “time flies when you are having fun” or a bad thing in so much as I don’t think I have achieved all the things I had hoped I would achieve by this point.     I think I will stick with the optimistic view and put it down to engagement, fun and possibly a bit of flow or my “element” as Ken Robinson would put it.

My previous reflections have all focused on the targets I set my self all that time ago back as the sun went down on 2015.   This time month I would like to do something a little different.

Recent weeks have had me reflecting on my time out in the UAE and on all the things I have done while there.    Thinking back the various events, dates, items and other very tangible items don’t elicit much of an emotional response.   They happened, I remember them but they lack any real richness.    The things I really, really, remember are those events to which I have now attached a story.      These stories have a rich detail which I happily share when appropriate.    They also elicit an emotional response in that I find myself smiling when I think about them, or for some stories it’s possible more likely a grimace than a smile.

So the question is what are the stories which arise from May 2016?

It was my birthday this month and my plan had been to try and get through without any real fuss; to have a quiet one so to speak.     That failed as my colleagues became aware of the event and decided that I would look all the more professional leaving the school site with a helium birthday balloon floating above my head.    The mug they provided me makes me laugh.

Smile_Cup

Now am not sure if this means that I should smile more at work or smile less.

My exercise level in May has not improved at all.   A perfect piece of evidence for this is the flower bed in my garden.

weeds

I might claim that it is like that on purpose as part of a wildlife conservation scheme however I doubt anyone would believe me.   Maybe by the time we get to the end of June some effort and work may have been done on this and I may be able to report a greater level of exercise.   Time will tell.

I think my reflection on May is the need to consider both the quantitative data and qualitative data in reflections and reviews of life and of progress.   I may hit targets I set around social media involvement, courses attended, etc but how important is that if when I look back I have no stories to tell or no rich memories.     What are your stories from May?

 

Reflections

It’s the end of March, 3 months into 2016, 25% of the year gone already!    2 out of 3 terms of the academic year finished!!   Where is the time going?

It is that time to reflect once more on the promises I made to myself back at the start of the year.   I honestly cant believe that we are already 25% of the way through the year as it seems like only yesterday I was writing my promises.   It seems like only yesterday that I returned to the UK after 7 years living and working in the Middle East.   Am going to chalk it up to “time flies when you are having fun” however I have to admit it hasn’t all been “fun” thus far.

So to my resolutions and progress to date.

  • To blog twice per month.

After a very busy February with #29daysofwriting and a blog every day I have became a little tired during March which has caused me to seek to recharge my batteries allowing some of my resolutions to lapse a little.    That said I have still managed to maintain and even exceed this target as part of #44weeks.    Currently I am managing to write a post weekly as opposed to every two weeks.    It is my hope to continue this going forward.

  • To tweet on average 1.9 time per day or more

My contributions to twitter have significantly dropped as a result of my need to recharge.    In February I managed over 230 tweets within the month however so far in March I have only managed 70 tweets.   70 tweets is above my target however only just so this is an area I would like to improve on.   I think I also need to acknowledge that most of my tweets in March have in fact been retweets as opposed to new content.     This has served its purpose in March however I think it is important that I am contributing to the twitterverse rather than just consuming.

  • To achieve Google Certified Education Level 2

Still have made no real progress on this one.   Given the Easter holidays it may be something I can address over the coming weeks.

  • Read at least 1 book per month

My reading in February significantly dropped as a result on writing so much for #29daysofwriting.  Sadly in March I have done little to address this.    I therefore need to get back into the habit of making time to read at least every couple of nights.

Easter

Overall I am still doing reasonably well against my targets however a reduction in my momentum is clearly evident when compared with January and February.   I would suggest that this is inevitable however I would also suggest that the Easter break comes at the right time to allow to recovery and a reset for the next term with renewed momentum.

Bring on term 3!!

 

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