4 quotations that will guide me next academic year

I love a good quotation. What I mean by a good quotation is one that takes something you’ve been thinking about abstractly and would take you lots of words to express, and then says it in a very concise (often, pithy) way. I’ve a new role as of next academic year, starting in September. Alongside a 50% timetable, I’ll be E-Learning Staff Tutor. It’ll not be easy!

1. “It’s hard not to act like a caveman when you’re living in a cave.” (paraphrased from John O’Farrell‘s An Utterly Impartial History of Britain)

I’ve got to recognise that not everyone lives in the extremely connected world I and my peers inhabit. There’s staff at my school who don’t have broadband at home ‘because I don’t use the Internet that much’, have had the same mobile phone (if they own one at all) for about 8 years, and who only use an interactive whiteboard if and when they are observed. I think my first task will be to lure them out of the cave. It may be safe and offer shelter, but there’s no sabre-toothed tigers out there anymore… 😉

2. “If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.” (Chinese proverb)

I came across this marvellous proverb thanks to Dave Stacey in his helpful post Write Doug a job description! In terms of my role next year, focusing on the task at hand could prove rather difficult. I can see so much that needs to be done! So long as I know where I’d like the school to be in 3 years’ time, I can start thinking about the baby steps to get us there. And I’ve got the power of the network™ behind me! :-p

3. The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. (Marcus Aurelius)

I’m going to have to accept the fact that I may not be the most popular person in the world next year. It’s a bit like when you become a teacher and initially you want all the students to like you. Then you realise that you’re not there to be liked – that’s just a bonus. You’re there to help them learn things. It’s going to be the same with my E-Learning Tutor role. So long as I ‘keep it real’ and don’t just try to please everybody, I’ll be OK. 🙂

4. “I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself.” (Michel De Montaigne)

At the end of the day, and as I have said many times before, I came into the teaching profession to change the experience of school for students. I know my principles and I know when I’m letting myself down. There’s a lot of jargon and extraneous stuff in the world of education that I haven’t got to get bogged down with. Whilst I need to move people on within the school, it hasn’t got to be at the expense of my core beliefs and values. 😀

What about you? What quotations guide and inspire you? What are you aiming for next academic year?

*If you haven’t read O’Farrell’s An Utterly Impartial History of Britain, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations or Montaigne’s Essays, I urge you to!

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  1. “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” – Ludwig Wittgenstein I believe.

    Take it how you like, I find something different in it each time I think of it, but it’s one I like to say to others to see what they find in it.

  2. “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” – Ludwig Wittgenstein I believe.Take it how you like, I find something different in it each time I think of it, but it's one I like to say to others to see what they find in it.

  3. I like the rabbit quote – my aim will be to keep the Faculty improvement plan down to a few targets, mainly to get ACfE up and running and to ensure ICT is fully embedded in all our teaching – and most importantly to spread the load, something I felt I began to achieve next year. Will need to think about a suitable quote.

  4. I like the rabbit quote – my aim will be to keep the Faculty improvement plan down to a few targets, mainly to get ACfE up and running and to ensure ICT is fully embedded in all our teaching – and most importantly to spread the load, something I felt I began to achieve next year. Will need to think about a suitable quote.

  5. I like no 3 Doug :-)

  6. I like no 3 Doug :-)

  7. Here are two of my recent favorites:

    See triumph and defeat as the imposters that they are (not sure who)

    Do the NEXT right thing. (my sister)

  8. Here are two of my recent favorites:See triumph and defeat as the imposters that they are (not sure who)Do the NEXT right thing. (my sister)

  9. Thanks for the prompt! I love sharing these quotations with others; it really sheds a light on oneself.

    No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of others.
    Charles Dickens
    (This is the poster I put on the BACK wall of my classroom, to remind me why I went into teaching in the first place.)

    Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and, crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring; those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
    Robert F. Kennedy
    (This quotation reiterates my reasons for entering education as a career as well. It’s why teaching social responsibility is so important.)

    Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
    John Watson
    (This one is on my desk; it reminds me to consider others’ situations, both colleagues, students, and parents, when I’m feeling not-so-terrific about them.)

    If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
    Henry David Thoreau
    (This one reminds me to allow those “square pegs,” as many call them, in my classroom to flourish in their own way.)

    It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
    Mark Twain
    (For those times when someone else takes the applause that you know you should have been recognized for.)

  10. Thanks for the prompt! I love sharing these quotations with others; it really sheds a light on oneself.No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of others.Charles Dickens (This is the poster I put on the BACK wall of my classroom, to remind me why I went into teaching in the first place.)Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and, crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring; those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.Robert F. Kennedy (This quotation reiterates my reasons for entering education as a career as well. It's why teaching social responsibility is so important.)Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.John Watson (This one is on my desk; it reminds me to consider others' situations, both colleagues, students, and parents, when I'm feeling not-so-terrific about them.)If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.Henry David Thoreau (This one reminds me to allow those "square pegs," as many call them, in my classroom to flourish in their own way.)It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.Mark Twain (For those times when someone else takes the applause that you know you should have been recognized for.)

  11. I know you posted this some time ago but – having just rediscovered it, as I sit in my office reflecting on the year past and ‘closing down’, I think your points are as relevant today as they were then. One of my own favourites is: “Even in the mud and scum of things, something, somewhere always sings.”
    Happy holidays!
    Esther

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