I have been talking to our children about New Year’s resolutions this week and I have enjoyed hearing about all the things they have resolved to do – it’s clear that 2018 is going to be the year that they will tidy their bedrooms, be kind to their siblings, work harder in maths and, generally, be the sort of wonder-child that I have yet to see materialise in my 21 years of teaching!
Now, I happen to be a New Year’s resolution fan – the opportunity to revisit goals and make exciting plans has always re-invigorated me. So, while watching the Doctor Who Christmas special with my family, I was struck by the significance of the Doctor’s latest regeneration; into the first female Doctor in the programme’s fifty-five year history. It served as a timely reminder that things change, the world moves on, and it’s never too late to reinvent oneself!
Embracing your inner Doctor can be difficult, though. Over time, we become creatures of habit, we become comfortable with routine, and the winds of change that we once enjoyed riding begin to feel turbulent and uncomfortable. Change, however, is as relentless and inevitable as time itself; and it is our job as educators to ensure our children don’t lose their natural ability to adapt to change. We must allow children to take risks, experience the discomfort of new or challenging situations, and manage the emotional highs and lows that come with triumph and disaster. If the Doctor can teach us anything, it is that adapting to change and being able to reinvent oneself is ultimately the route to a longer and happier life: an easier flight… the route to finding the slipstream, emerging unscathed from the turbulence and enjoying the journey.
This year we will continue to support our pupils’ journeys by enriching our Flourish programme, equipping the children with the skills necessary to develop a growth mindset and by continuing our work on mindfulness using the ‘Paws b’ curriculum. We can’t promise tidy bedrooms or domestic bliss – but we can resolve to help our children harness their inner Doctor!