Through the Eyes of an Educator: How will you write the first page of this new year?

by Stacey Ebert / Jan 08, 2019 /
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Breathing in the first month of a new year is as good as chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, ocean spray as it hits the air, and a brand new baby all snuggled up after a warm bath. It’s the promise of that new dawn, the beginning of something powerful, and a chance at all those do-overs we all at times require. How will you write that first page?

In my experience, school always began in September and finished in June. Often, it seemed that first day of school was a new calendar, a new shot, a new opportunity to begin again. Regardless of whether you’re in school or not, or if your school year happens at different times of the year, the changing of the year is a fresh start for us all. How do we impress that upon our learners? How do we share the ideas of that begin again, resolution making, intention setting, manifest goal making, and that desire for the spark anew with our next generation? Where in our educational calendar do we make room for that growth?

As always, travel assists on many levels. There are the signature ‘new year’ events, like watching the ball drop in New York’s Times Square, marking the shift with the epic fireworks off of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, or plunging oneself into the freezing ocean in one of the many New Year’s Day Polar Bear plunges around the globe. How can we take that travel spirit, that quest for more, that curiosity, and search and apply it to more of the traditional–you know, where your head hits the pillow before midnight on the 31st of December, and, whenever you’re ready to open your eyes again, it has magically become the 1st of January. How do we honor the essence of travel dreams and goals amidst the rush of the new year? How do we impart that to the learners among us?

Through the Eyes of an Educator: How will you write the first page of this new year?

The magic of the new year doesn’t fade with the last blast of the fireworks. It’s up to each and every one of us to harness that zeal of ‘I can and I will’ throughout the entire year. It’s this that our learners need to practice throughout their educational tour. The ideas of try something new even if it’s hard, set a goal and find ways to applaud for each step in that direction, put your dreams out there into the world and let them take flight, and work to make a difference for yourself and others–these ideas aren’t frozen in time from December to January. These are the lessons, insights, struggles, and concepts to revisit throughout the entire calendar year. It might take a moment or decades, but without putting it out there and working towards them, they’re bound to never see the light of day. 

When children go from crawling to walking to running, they’re working on those goals. When students jump reading levels, win robotics medals, work through their fear of public speaking, or pick themselves up after falling down, they’re working on those goals. When learners push themselves to apply for that dream experience, buy their first plane ticket, teach their first class, cook their first meal, release their first song, or publish their first written piece, they’re working towards those goals that began long before their achievement. Whether they knew it or not, somewhere along the line, they manifested that dream, put that desire out into the world, worked toward reaching it, managed setbacks, retooled the dream, and saw it through to fruition. That’s the promise of a new year. 

Perhaps we would be better off finding ways to explore re-balancing and re-focusing throughout the entire year. When we finish a project, meet a goal, tick something off that ‘bucket list’, reach the pinnacle of a dream, perhaps we can work towards always hitting that reset button, debriefing from the experience, and setting our next intention. Sure, that change in calendar month will always take on a heightened experience, but if we teach the next generation to work on these ‘resetting’ systems throughout the year, perhaps it will take on a realm of normalcy as the year progresses. Perhaps working in self-care, mindfulness meditation, both physical and mental exercise programs, personal growth modeling and those softer, resetting skills throughout our years and into our lives will soften the edges of that shift in year and still allow for the promise of the new to take center stage. 

Each time I find myself thinking of a new spot in the world I’d like to visit, there’s a tingle of excitement that goes along with it. Research begins, plans like ‘how will I pay for this’ get mapped out and put in motion, questions are asked, and whenever it comes to fruition (whether that’s in a week or years down the track), the journey it took to get there makes it all the more sweet. If we take that travel mindset and retool it towards everyday life and annual intention setting, travel never leaves, that tingle of excitement surges through each day, and, if we’re lucky enough to come close or even meet that original goal (if it even looks the same by that time), when we look back on the journey and see how far we’ve come, the realization and fulfillment is far greater than we ever expected. 

Here’s to writing those new pages, setting new intentions, and working (each and every day) towards those new goals and dreams. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: How will you write the first page of this new year?

Stacey Ebert, our Educational Travels Editor, is a traveler at heart who met her Australian-born husband while on a trip in New Zealand. Stacey was an extracurricular advisor and taught history in a Long Island public high school for over fifteen years, enjoying both the formal and informal educational practices. After a one year 'round the world honeymoon, travel and its many gifts changed her perspective. She has since left the educational world to focus on writing and travel. She is energetic and enthusiastic about long term travel, finding what makes you happy and making the leap. In her spare time she is an event planner, yogi, dark chocolate lover, and spends as much time as possible with her toes in the sand.

Check out her website at thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com for more of her travel musings.

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