The move to a new workplace next June has brought about an unexpected surprise - an unofficial sabbatical. Given my unique position as a full-time Project Work Tutor, there's a need to properly handover not just the responsibilities but the knowledge and experience as well. As a result, teachers who are taking over my workload will be attached in all my classes from the start.
While it isn't the kind of sabbatical in which I am free from work of any kind, it is similar to the extent that my attention is no longer on the teaching and learning of students but the training, coaching and mentoring of teachers. This temporary change in focus and slower tempo means I'll have 7 months to pursue and develop in other areas so as to refresh. Rather than let this time waste away, and taking a note out of Stefan Sagmesiter, I've decided to get a focus and a plan.
First, the focus: relationships. It is rather obvious that relationships are important and to expand that focus a little further, it'll be to pay attention to these three parts of my life in the following order:
In practice, this will mean giving them devoted time to engage on their terms so as to to know them, instead of know about them. In the family especially, it's possible to be beside one another doing many things but not know a single thing about one another. Hence, to know them on their terms, to do things that they would like. This is especially challenging with the children to be playing toys for an hour, spending an afternoon in the playground and reading 5 storybooks before bedtime.
Outside of relationships, it's also an opportunity to pursue interests and develop areas related to work. In the area of work, the list of things 'to-do' would be:
- Get certified as a Google Apps Trainer
- Learn to code in Python and Java
- Design and conduct training workshops in iLife and iWork for teachers
In the area of interests:
- Create a family documentary
- Read a Great Book (probably Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas)
To maintain a level of discipline, I'll post a blog every biweekly from December 2013 till May 2014. It'll be helpful to keep track as well as record my reflections for each of these things although the posts will focus on interests and work related matters. While relationship are too personal for this professional blog, it is included here as a reminder that we teach who we are. Hence, our being is more important than the doing, thus the focus on relationships for this unique short season that I have.