Karen Wootton, Odenton, MD, KarenWootton@cpm.org
What is it about a new year that makes us set resolutions? Is it the idea of beginnings that prompts us to set goals? Most of my resolutions are practical, like resolving to get more sleep, but I also set some dream resolutions that I know will be a challenge. In either case, for me, setting resolutions is really the “triumph of hope over experience.”
But maybe that is okay. When I think about starting a new year, I am filled with hope. I think things like Maybe everyone will get vaccinated. Maybe we will get the pandemic under control. And, Maybe we can get back to normal. Maybe life will be better for everyone! I get excited for the new year and it is my hope that drives that excitement. Change, even if a little unsettling, is still exciting. The possibilities are endless!
How will I change in the new year? How will life change in the new year? How many unknowns will the new year bring? So many questions, all related to change. And change can be unsettling.
I have often heard, “The only constant in life is change.” It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus that said that about 2500 years ago and this quote has stood the test of time. I see change as a good thing; would we really want everything to stay exactly the same day to day, week to week, year to year? Think about your students. Most of their lives are in a constant state of flux. Changing teachers and classes several times each school day. New teachers each year (or semester). Changing bodies as they grow. For them, the only constant is change. How would their lives be affected by a teacher resistant to change?
W.E.B. Du Bois said, “The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.” What a great thought to share with our students! After all, who knows what 2022 will bring?