As we head into a new school year, setting goals is a common classroom activity. Fall is a great time set student goals, set your teacher goals, or reset personal goals. We often lose sight of how long it takes to establish the habits and routines that will lead us to actually reaching our goals. We also often don't have clear markers to demonstrate that we are indeed making progress toward the goal, no matter how small. We also neglect to remember that we will have setbacks on our journey toward our goal.
I was reminded of all of this when I finally met a goal today that I had established over a year and a half ago with my doctor. I finally reached the sevens. She wanted me to do it by her birthday in June. I fell a tenth of a point short then. It took me three months longer. Seeking Six is the name of this blog because the number six is the elusive A1C number that I was initially told to strive toward in 2008 when I received my diagnosis of LADA. Seven years later I now know that a more accurate title would be Seeking Seven, but I digress! I reached the upper sevens today. I am happy. To reach that goal, my progress was monitored every three months officially and I inched closer to the goal. I also had a part in monitoring my progress daily. I had a strategy in place that I set up with my doctor. I had the resources I needed. I also had the desire. Despite the supports, it still took time. We often forget how much time it takes to reach goals, especially with our students, because we live in a world that responds in an instant. I personally have something to work on for the next three months to get into the mid-sevens. I professionally have goals for my students and teachers too.
As I work with my students this year, as I work on myself and within my teacher teams, I want to remember to be patient. Everything I want to cultivate in teachers, in students, and in myself takes time. Having seamless transitions with small group rotations takes time. Bringing new members into a PLC and getting everyone moving on the same page takes time. Getting students to recognize the sustained effort it takes to grow as a reader. Reaching the low sevens. It will take hard work, it will take hand-holding and it will take small shifts. As my mentor, Janet Allen, said, "We are all works-in-progress." Allowing time for students and teachers to bloom, grow and work toward progress, that's my job. That's also what I am doing for myself.