Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place to share our Slice of Life. Read more slices or add you own here.
It is the time to look back and reflect on 2014. It is hard to believe that another year has gone by.
My word for 2014 was REACH, and what a year of reaching it was for me. This year brought many high points along with some very low ones.
|A special Christmas gift from my friend and colleague, Kristen.|
I wrote here that I wanted to reach out to others, reach out of my comfort zone and reach out to make my life bigger. And I did just that.
On a personal note, my children have reached that adult or almost an adult stage in life. My son started a band and is beginning to reach out through his music. My daughter will be student teaching in six days. She is reaching that culmination point of her education. My role as their mother has changed. Still important but just different. Reaching this point of parenthood has been filled with many emotions.
I found out in January that Twitter was an extension of my arms, reaching out to teachers across the country. The connections I have made through blogging and tweeting were celebrated in June when I went to AllWrite! and met Ruth, Elsie, Linda, Christy, Kim, MaryHelen, Jen, and Katherine. (I apologize if I missed anyone. I can't find the picture!)
I have grown as a teacher, a reader, a writer and as a person simply by reaching out into this community of friends.
Reaching out of my comfort zone is always a challenge. Presenting PD's to colleagues was one the most difficult things I did as a teacher. This type of PD is not well received here yet, but I tried to reach out and share my experiences. I am still reaching because last night I tweeted to all of our schools that I want to have a Twitter party. So many of them are missing out on so much. I want to show them what Twitter can offer - no takers yet!
I also reached out and wrote two posts for the Nerdy Book Club. That was scary because I admire and respect so many of the people involved in that endeavor. They are my rock stars! You can read those here and here.
Twice I had to reach deep and try to understand why people do the things they do. Two people who I respected, made some wrong decisions which hurt many people. Forgiving is hard. I learned that when we put people up on pedestals, it makes it that much farther when they fall.
This year I changed schools and grade levels. Making this change was not something I had planned or even thought about. I assumed I would teach 4th grade for the remainder of my teaching career. After moving to 6th grade, I know this was the right decision. I miss my teacher friends from my previous school, but being able to reach out and form relationships with "almost-teenagers" has been an incredible experience.
I also started the Next Chapter Book Club here in my hometown. Starting this club was something I had wanted to do for quite some time. It became a reality this year and has been such a blessing. We are currently reading I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, and sharing my love of reading with them is reaching beyond boundaries. You can read about it here. (I hope to share my group with you in a few weeks.)
Choosing one word to live by for the year also has ties of faith for me. I wanted to reach out and become closer to God. I have had mixed feelings on writing about that on this blog. I wanted this blog to be more of my life as a teacher, a reader, and a writer. Because of this and because of my desire to include my faith in my one little word, I have decide to start another blog. I will include my Spiritual Journey Thursday posts with Holly Mueller and other new adventures. The name of the new blog is tied in with my one little word for 2015. I am so excited about this new adventure and will share it some time this week.
I still have one goal that I did not reach this year, but moving grade levels prohibited that. Hopefully when I have a year of teaching middle school under my belt, I can still REACH out of my comfort zone while reaching others and making my life even bigger! We will see.
If you are still thinking about choosing one word to guide you through the new year, you might want to check out my post from yesterday. It has some thoughts from Jon Gordon's book.
Another year has gone by. It was an exceptional year for me. I can't wait to see what 2015 will bring.