Keep, Stop, Do
I have a monthly meeting with one of my mentors that I think of as my regular “tune up.” I get the chance to share what’s on my mind, get some feedback, and brainstorm with someone who is genuinely interested in my success. These conversations have been a stark reminder of the need to reflect on my practice as a school leader. At one of our meetings last year, he introduced me to a simple exercise that I have embraced as a regular self-evaluation tool. I take time in December right after the break from school begins and in June after the year ends to really step back and think about myself.
It is important to point out that this does not replace my daily reflections on me and my work. Rather, these two times of year serve as my formal evaluation of myself. Not only is it an opportunity to set some goals and make some adjustments, I also focus on my strengths, which allows the experience to be positive.
I take a piece of paper, which I have titled “Self Evaluation” after writing the date, I make three columns “Keep,” “Stop,” and “Do.”
I think ask myself the following questions:
– What do I want to keep doing?
– What do I want to stop doing?
– What do I want to start doing?
These questions, while simple, push me to reflect and plan what my next six months will look like. I take the document that I develop and I hang it on the wall in my office, in a spot that I look at each day when I first walk through the door and get started. The visibility of my goals serve as a constant reminder of what I am good at and where I am working to grow. In addition, this is the guide for my daily self reflection as I work toward my next formal evaluation of myself.
As you take time away over the holidays, take 20 minutes and sincerely evaluate your performance since the beginning of the school year. Look at what you’ve done that has worked well and what behaviors you need to change before setting some goals that you will keep visible until June.