By Corinna Erickson, Western Division President-Elect and Principal of Breckenridge Elementary School

As I sit in my quiet office over the holiday break, excited to have completed a TON of those things that just don’t get done when the office, halls, and classrooms of the building are a buzz with all sorts of other activity most days of the school year and pondering about what to write, I am actually wishing for an interruption. When I signed up for this president-elect gig, no one told me I would have to be writing a blog! I love learning, reading, and sharing with others, but let me tell you verbally about my learning and experiences (those that worked and those that didn’t) instead of having to write about it, PLEASE!!

My next thought after that was that I didn’t really even know where to begin. What should I write about? What have I read lately that I want to share with others? What have we done at Breckenridge Elementary that I want to share? It is a new year…Should I be writing about a New Year’s resolution? I would have to come up with one then – I am not much of a resolution maker!

Then, I decided that now would be a perfect, quiet time to check into other’s blogs. Those that I didn’t get a chance to read (but always wanted to) because of the “buzz” of the school day, life in general, and family that kept me from finding the time to do so. I dug into those to find some great reads and a variety of topics to explore. I’d suggest you make some time to read some yourself!

So, with all that said and a couple custodians that just happened to pop in to ask a question or two… I need to recalibrate and focus again on this blog! Hey, that’s it – RECALIBRATE! That reminds me…

Some of my more recent reading and discussion with staff (and students in a way) has been about finding balance, especially, and making goals. It has taken me a long time to be able to practice what I preach about finding balance in life. I am kind of a workaholic and driven to be better than I was yesterday, last week, or last year, in my career especially. After reading Balance Like a Pirate by Jessica Cabeen, Jessica Johson, and Sarah Johnson, one of the biggest take-aways was the idea of the need to recalibrate. In the book, they take the life-work balance idea beyond just work and life. They break the balance equation into four areas:  Personal, Professional, Positional, and Passions. They also talk about how you will never find and keep all four quadrants balanced consistently over an extended period of time. Sometimes, one area just has to take precedence over the others for the time being. The important thing to remember is that you need to recalibrate often and continue to seek a balance.

This leads me to think about the “resolution” work I have done with staff and students using a book and technique this summer called One Word by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. Just this last month, they released a student version of One Word which I have already shared with our 6th graders and will share with 4th graders after we get back from the holiday break. During workshop week, staff made a one word resolution for the school year. In a sense, this approach to goal setting using one word has also helped me continue to find a better balance in all four quadrants of my life when I pause to recalibrate using my word. (Sorry, MDE and SPED folks, it isn’t written in SMART format!)

Whatever your thing is for keeping your head above the water (some days more than others!), it is important for you to do so. Find something that works for you and continue to remember to recalibrate, balance, set new goals or whatever it is that works as we head into the new year, decade or maybe even as soon as next week to continue to find your passion for all you do in life and work! May you have a great start to the calendar year and great wrap up to the 2019-20 school year! It will be here before we know it!

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