It is the new trend in resolutions. Don’t make them. Instead find one little word that will carry you through your year. Last year my word was “acceleration“. Before I choose a word for this year, I thought it only right to reflect on the success of last year’s word.
According to my post last year (Jan. 2014) I wanted to apply the word to many aspects of my life. In the classroom, I wanted to keep moving forward. I can truly say that I think the second half of my school year last year was my best. I incorporated more project based learning. I witnessed several students that had barely done any classwork, step up and try new things. My bridge project and the just use math were my two biggest hits. Several of these students have stopped by this year to tell me how much they enjoyed my class last year and that they were doing better this year because of it. (It truly does make a teacher proud to hear these things.) I remind them that I always knew they were destined for greatness and that this year is just the tip of the iceberg for them.
Professionally, I wanted to accelerate my PLN. I wanted to expand my circles. Boy did that happen. Not only did I assist with EdcampDuval, I’ve attended 5 or 6 other Edcamps since then. I am now in the middle of organizing an edcamp at my school. EdcampBranford will happen on April 16th. I am so excited. My Twitter world has gotten stronger, as well. #FLedChat is flourishing. We even added another co-moderator (@DennisDill, @Celeste_Clemons) this year. We are on our way to connecting educators across the state of Florida. In May, I connected with two other awesome educators (@edventures, @nataleestotz) and together we founded #RuralEdChat. I am very proud to say it has become a standard chat for many around the world. I also teamed up with another group of educators and have begun FullCirclePD.org. We are trying to find a way to change how social media is used to conduct an on-going cycle of professional development.
I’ve also changed subject areas. I am now the Computer Apps and Game Design teacher on my campus. It has been an exciting change from teaching math. Moving from a core subject to elective courses has opened my eyes to so many different aspects of education I never had to consider before. Just before school dismissed for break, my peers voted me “Teacher of the Year” for my campus. I am truly honored. I can truly say professionally, 2014 has been full of acceleration.
Personally, I let things slide. I didn’t get moving as much as I should have. In fact, I became even less active. I bought one of those activity monitors. After the first week (baseline data), I was ashamed to discover that I was apparently less active than the tree sloth. Then the plantar fasciitis kicked in. Movement became almost unbearable. I hobbled around the school. Finally about two weeks ago, I finally found it easing off. I got back on the treadmill. Then came the sinus infection that almost never left. But, I am finally feeling better.
Last night was New Year’s Eve. As I reflect over my year, I am pleased for the most part. Yes, there are always things I would love to do better. I am not perfect, thankfully. I am blessed beyond measure to have a wonderful marriage, a beautifully smart daughter, and a career that challenges me on a daily basis. I am loved by those that I love. What more could any soul ask for?
This year I need a new word. What shall it be? I think it will be “connections“. I want to make new connections. Connecting ideas to plans, plans with people, people with actions. I want to strengthen the connections I’ve been blessed to have. I want to help my students see their connection to the world around them. I want to meet some of my online PLN face to face. I want deeper connections than I ever thought possible.
It is 2015, anything is possible.