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Train for That Marathon: Transformation Begins with Reflection

by Colleen Wright Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund | June 8 2017

The end of the school year can feel like the final few miles of a marathon. Reporting deadlines are imminent—for many of you, grading and report cards are due—and you’re anxious for the race to be over, to say the least. As the finish line appears on your horizon, it’s important to start evaluating how things went. We must try to better our practice, improve our pace, push through to the end and celebrate our successes.

A Few Tips from the Finish Line

  1. Students can be your best coaches. When done in a respectful, positive manner, student feedback can offer keys to your success and improvement. The end of the year is a great time to ask your class for feedback—the pressure of school and exams are over at this time, so students will likely share their genuine feelings. Additionally, student feedback can be given anonymously to respect those who may not feel comfortable giving face-to-face feedback. A short survey with open-ended questions is a great way to include your students as coaches on your journey to improvement and growth.
  2. Keep pace with your peers. Reach out to your peer network over the summer to exchange ideas regarding best practices. The summer break is an excellent time to strengthen your peer network and enrich your personal learning practice. You can learn something new from each of your teammates to improve outcomes for yourself and your students. Keep the pace. Take advantage. Reach out.
  3. Train, practice and improve. A marathon runner cannot take two months off of training and expect to be successful in a race in September. The key to maintaining your pace is consistent conditioning. Set goals for yourself. Whether it be reading a book about social emotional learning or attending the Ever Active Schools Summer Institute, schedule time to keep yourself in shape.

The end of the school year is a busy and exciting time. We often have to recall how the year went—our successes and our challenges. It’s important to try fine-tuning our practice and reflection is one of the best ways to do this. Through continuous growth and learning, we can push through to the end—and hopefully even feel a “runner’s high” while doing so. Reflect and celebrate your successes, build upon your weaknesses and embrace change. On your mark, get set, go!

 

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With a BA in Political Studies and a diploma in Public Relations, Jazmin Bonizzoni is the AHSCWF’s resident communication coordinator and champion HALO player. We’re told the two skill sets are unrelated.

Colleen Wright

With a background in nutrition and human ecology (look it up—it’s a thing!), Colleen is a superhero of health promotion. And as a project facilitator with the Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund, she’s perfectly positioned to put her super muscles to work supporting health promotion initiatives in Alberta’s school communities. But don’t treat Colleen differently because she’s a superhero. Even she’s not immune to the most terrifying thing on the planet—the ostrich.