The Head’s Tales: New beginnings

Happy New Year!

One of the things I love about being part of an educational setting is that we have the opportunity to celebrate a “new beginning” twice each year – the traditional start of a new calendar year and the start of the academic year.

The beginning of each new school year is full of promise – a fresh start with a new grade, new courses and new teachers. September also provides students with a new set of challenges and opportunities for learning and personal growth that are best met with renewed enthusiasm and a viable plan of what they want to accomplish.

The beginning of a new year is a time of reflection with its focus being quite global. This time of year allows us to put personal challenges in perspective when compared to the sadness or setbacks experienced by others around the world. It is also a milestone that prompts us to review events of the past year and to set personal goals of transformation – correcting a bad habit, changing attitudes, aspiring to new heights/goals, changing personal circumstances or becoming a better version of ourselves. It is a time of renewed hope and a belief that things can and will get better. 

Regardless of whether we are celebrating a new year in September or January, parents and teachers have a role to play in helping students become the best that they can be.  This can be done through nurturing and encouraging; providing a structure for success; and finally showing commitment by getting involved in their children’s lives. Specifically for students, January allows them the time to review how they have done to date and provides them with the opportunity to refocus and refine their efforts and to establish a plan of action that will ensure greater/continued success over the balance of the school year.

When you want to be Happy and Successful
Focus on what is right now.
Use your purpose to respond
To what is important now.

When you want to make the Present better than the Past
Look at what happened in the past.
Learn something valuable from it.
Do things differently in the present.

When you want to make the Future better than the Present
See what a wonderful future would look like.
Make plans to help it happen.
Put your plan into action in the present.

The Present.  Spencer Johnson, M.D., 2003

On behalf of the staff at St. Margaret’s, may the months ahead be filled with opportunities and inspirations that will help you to fulfill your dreams and goals.

Recommended readings:

Consider Not Setting Goals in 2013 by Peter Bregman (December 14, 2012) Harvard Business Review

Instead of Making Resolutions, Dream by Whitney Johnson (January 1, 2013) Harvard Business Review

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