I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. While I can appreciate the tradition, and will commend people’s desire to make improvements in their lives, I like to go-with-the-flow a little more, rather than lock myself into a commitment that must start on January 1st. Also, I hate exercise.
The one tradition I do have for myself that takes place at the start of a new year, is to reflect back on how I’ve grown over the last twelve months. And because I am a passionate journaler it’s relatively easy for me to do so.
For any student who has been in my English class, you may be familiar with my/our daily reflective writing. Yes, these daily reflections are important for us in a schooling context (curriculum, metacognition, mental set, concept attainment, exam preparation, [insert a lot more jargon here], etc.), but more importantly, for me – for all of us – is that we are engaging in daily conversations with ourselves. Who are we in this moment? What are our dreams and fears? What are we struggling with, and how are we working through it? What are we grateful for?
During the Christmas break, I will open up the journals I have filled over the past year and read through them. I’ll probably grimace and wrinkle my nose at some parts (Who is this grouchy person, anyway?) or feel a wave of pride and heart warmth at other parts (Who is this brilliant woman, and how can I get her to be President of the World?).
The short answer is me. All of those people are me.
I am always surprised when I read through my past entries. It’s very easy to forget things, and with the fresh eyes that are now outside of these past experiences, I can study that Teri Hartman and see how far she’s come. And by doing this faithfully for the past five years, I have learned so much about who I am. Those Ancient Greeks were on to something when they said, “Know thyself.”
And so, if I may, I’d like to encourage all of you, to take some time over the Christmas holidays and think about (and possibly even write about) the person you have been in 2016. Studying yourself is perhaps the most fascinating and worthwhile subject of all, and the learning never stops.
Have a restful, blessed Christmas.
- Mrs. Hartman
Mrs. Hartman is the Lead English teacher and Blog Administrator at CCH. When she’s not marking papers, you will find her writing, reading, scrapbooking, cuddling with her dog, reading, writing, singing, and writing. Her favourite things about CCH are all of the amazing people she works with every day.