Hedreich Nichols

Shape of You

OneWord ’22 graphic. SmallBites returns Monday, January 10th wherever fine podcasts are heard.

Standing at the precipice of the new year has long ceased to feel like some magical new beginning. That’s a good thing. I have not bungled this year. I’m not waiting on the turn of a page so that I can resolutely start anew. What I am doing is taking the wins of the last couple of years and shaping them into a harmonious melding of many hats. If you are a teacher and a parent, you understand being a wearer of many hats.

The thing about wearing many hats is that it can be difficult to identify which hat is The One. Usually that’s because there is no ONE. Could you choose between ‘child’, ‘spouse’, ‘parent’, ‘educator’ or ‘friend’? Each of those hats are vitally important, but they aren’t always on your head all at once. Still, sometimes you stack them, sometimes they sit askew. Sometimes you just want to throw them all down and go hatless.

This evening, as I write the last blog of 2021, I am hatless. It’s one of those rare moments where I can just be. And in this moment, I savor the time to reflect in quiet about my many hats.

Shape Shifter

A template designed by Educator and Youtuber Claudio Zavala led me to define the hats I wear. As I named them, I finalized my one word, ‘shape’. As my role in education and parenting is shifting, I am in the process of reordering my hats. The last two years have been fruitful, yielding 6 books, 65 SmallBites YouTube episodes, 65 hedreich.com blog episodes and 65 SmallBites podcast episodes. Those don’t include courses, guest blogs and articles.

So how do I bring all those hats under one umbrella? Well, that’s my focus this year. A little prioritizing, a little fine tuning the schedule and a little more work-life balance. And this is all worthy of a blog post, why? Because, as usual, I have an ask. In the next few days, I would like each of you multi hat wearers to spend a little time being intentional about which hats need to be worn when, for how long and in what order. By allowing a picture of your priorities to emerge, you’ll be better able to focus on the now and shape your path forward. This is especially true if you are, like many, considering a shift away from the classroom or away from education altogether.

Happy New Year

As you define and re-order your hats, define also what brings you joy, what ameliorates stress and what is good for you. Make choosing yourself a firm priority. All the people around you will be happier if you are balanced and content. How will you do this with the coming year, including COVID and testing season? Only you can say. But I know that if you don’t take a minute to establish your priorities, the year’s stressors will do it for you and you will likely not be pleased with the outcome.

FInally, I’d like to thank you for reading and listening. I hope that by shaping your coming year and beyond, that you’ll continue to have energy to learn, to grow and to make safer, more equitable classrooms and campuses for all students.

Your loyalty is appreciated. See you next year!