Mary-Jo Hill

05 Jan 2022

The fashion to video the annual round up reminds me too much of managing the roses. Revolutions, not resolutions for 2022.

Danil Aksenov/Unsplash

One of my greatest pleasures is the detangling of vocabulary misheard by others that makes you laugh as you comprehend the consequences. My youngest (8 yrs) thought that we were hatching mini revolutions instead of New Year’s resolutions and I think the family is likely to adopt this from now on.

The fashion to video oneself doing an annual review is commendable. I can only think about ‘Round-Ups’ as a potential weedkiller that must be banned by now, surely?- despite the fact that the climbing rose will get greenfly sometime this year. So how do we manage the plethora of success and good news stories from others? Only with grace and good humour and the immense importance of joining in other’s good time stories. Click that like button because is external validation required. But what if, you feel that you really cannot compete? The notion of the social media public domain to share these things just might make you feel slightly uncomfortable as public pride is not your place of comfort. Your life and ambition may not able to compete. So validation comes round again. What is the balance of internal and external validation and how does this play out in the classroom?

But back to resolutions. What resolutions will be made in response to your 2021 and past feedback, and review? For pupils and teachers, it is the termly report.

As an educational coach, I spend a lot of time working with clients on behaviours that we are showing or wish to show or would like to see in others. As a mother, I spend time talking about the behaviours that teachers may need to see or hear or observe in my children. What will enable them to be seen as making the effort that teachers want to see? What is being communicated clearly from the teachers in learning behaviours? Is it really still being the one to be the first to one to put their hand up in class? Surely, we have all moved on from ‘hands up’ in the classroom? Or have we? The difficulties of managing and teaching 30 individual students are immense. What are the tools being utilised to work out inclusion in your classroom? And how can those tools be used to better effect? How much do pupils recognise their own extrinsic or intrinsic validation needs and how much do teachers know about those motivational drivers?

Real time inclusion is an issue that I will be addressing through the development of Yakbit this year. Although not ready now for the classroom environment, the need to go back to basics and think about revolutions, not resolutions for 2022 is important. Consider how inclusive our classrooms are this year with regards to participation and the expectation of participation. Is that not the greatest challenge for 2022? How connected are we really? Honestly.
Wishing all edu-staff in the land the grace and good humour and agency to pull on all of those around you that would ‘click’ and externally validate you for this half term ahead. I certainly do.

So my own personal New Year’s revolutions? Well, it is ten years since the inception of Coach for School Improvement. Wow. How many incredible edu-staff I have met in that time. Feels crass in this environment to say ‘privileged’ to have worked with them. I am only humbled by our collective values that struggle within systemic challenges to make the everyday purposeful and full of integrity. That is it. Sounds so simple and yet sometimes so hard to execute.

So my ‘revolutions’ (for now) are:

  1. Speak my mind with clarity
  2. Listen more
  3. Listen to Gil Scott Heron remember this revolution will not be televised. Listen here.
  4. Listen and then be open to other’s viewpoints
  5. Listen to create shared values

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