First and foremost, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am so glad that I became a part of this community full of support, love, and sincerity. It’s not very often that you come across a place where everyone is wishing for and supporting everyone else’s success, and it is such an honor to be a part of that culture.
As I move into 2018, I have to stop and reflect on my 2017.
Career-wise, 2017 was a year of ups and downs for me. It started out with me working at a school where I felt trapped and unappreciated. I was working as an Instructional Coach and loved LOVED LOVED my role and the teachers I worked with. They are seriously what made me get up in the mornings to go to work. As much as I did not see eye-to-eye with the administration and felt under-valued and used, I can still honestly say that I learned a lot from that job. I learned so much in the world of curriculum, leadership, and literacy. I had the opportunity to lead five different professional learning communities including Differentiated Instruction, Formative Instructional Practices, Classroom Management, Literacy in the Non-ELA Classroom, and Data Teams. I had the opportunity to write the layout and scheduling for a school-wide literacy block, oversaw the application of it, and was able to celebrate tremendous growth because of it. I learned how to work with teachers in a role other than being their equal, and it was more of a challenge to start with than I had ever predicted. These experiences were wonderful and have helped me gain an abundance of knowledge that I would not have been exposed to if it had not been for my role as Instructional Coach.
As the end of the school year approached, it was a very hard decision for me to leave the role of Instructional Coach to go back into the classroom, but I knew I couldn’t handle another year of the way I was feeling. So, I went back to the classroom…
On the positive side of this decision, I was going back to a school where I knew I would be welcomed with open arms, and one where the culture of family is felt upon walking through the front door. However, I would be lying to say I was not disheartened at the idea of stepping down from my coaching position. I felt like I was being demoted, and I let this weigh down on me for the first bit of the summer as I took in everything that I’d gone through the previous year and what was coming the next.
Fast forward a bit, and I am so very happy with my decision! Yes, I still think about the fact that I stepped down from a role that I loved and felt like I was meant for, but I LOVE being in the classroom again, and I am much better teacher now than I ever was because of my experiences as an Instructional Coach.
I get to go work with a group of students who I love and would jump in front of a bus for, I work with a group of teachers (and other staff) who would anything for me, and I work in a school where little things are appreciated, people want to help each other, and the administration supports their teachers. That makes all the difference in the world!
With all of that being said, let’s move into 2018!
As we move forward, I don’t want to ever let myself get back to the way I was feeling at the start of 2017. I want to remain positive, even when things around me do get tough. I don’t want to let anyone else’s actions toward me make me feel inferior or like I’m not good enough because I know that I am.
2018 has much in store for me. I am continuing my role as a 7th grade ELA teacher, I am getting to lead some professional development and coach some teachers on a voluntary basis, and I am going back to school to get my Tier 1 Leadership Certification. All of these things are going to require the best of me.
Several teachers have been setting their #oneword2018 goals, and it’s really made me reflect on what mine would be. I am HUGE on goal-setting (no, not resolution-making) and will still make my list of goals to achieve this year; however, I wanted to think of one word that would help lead me to success with my new goals.
Intentional: done on purpose; deliberate; pertaining to an appearance, phenomenon, or representation in the mind; phenomenal; representational.
I want everything I do this year to be intentional.
→ Am I using my time in a way that is going to get me where I want to be, or am I wasting time and using it as an excuse?
→ Are these thoughts growing me as a person, or are they allowing negativity to seep in?
→ Will these words promote what I am trying to accomplish, or will they drag me down?
→ Will this action represent the person I am striving to be, or will it have the opposite effect?
If we were to ask ourselves what our intent is and then if what we are doing or saying is moving us toward that intent, then I think we’d all have a bit of a reality check. I know I would. It’s not always easy to think like that in the moment, but I am going to work at it as hard as I can. I welcome anyone who would like to be my accountability in this!
I love seeing everyone’s #oneword and goals floating around social media right now, and it is my hope that everyone keeps the same drive and inspiration as we move into 2018.
Thank you all for being a community where I feel welcome, I can be honest, and I know that my success is celebrated by all. It’s such an amazing feeling!
On a totally different note, and in case anyone was wondering, my person life in 2017 was AMAZING! I married the man of my dreams in the Bahamas, I moved back to an area and school that I love, I spent some time with family and friends from all over, and I won a trip of a lifetime to Las Vegas to meet the Backstreet Boys, have VIP tickets to their concert, and I was picked to go on stage and serenaded. Yes, it was an amazing year!
HAPPY GOAL SETTING!!!