Through much contemplation, mindfulness meditation, and general clarity – I’ve decided that this year, 2017-2018, is going to be the year of #sayingyes.
Yes to new experiences. Yes to new faces. Yes to new ideas. And yes to me. I’m in the midst of my eleventh year in the classroom and have always been a hyper-focused educator. Sometimes to the point where I turn down opportunities or say “no” to new possibilities. I’ve said no in the past out of fear (makes sense, right?). I was afraid of taking on too much and spreading myself too thin. I think teachers do this by nature because we realize the value in what we do day in and day out. We are responsible for not only the safety of students, but molding their young minds to be able to operate independently. My goal for my students has always been to learn to think for themselves – to take information and understand it on their level, so it makes sense to them. To essentially say yes to learning!
My Goals for 2017-2018
Yes to new experiences… In January 2017, I enrolled in a principal and supervisor certification program (to be completely finished in June 2018). Part of our training is to complete internship hours. This is saying yes to both new experiences and myself. If my ultimate goal is to become an administrator, then I want as much exposure to admin-situations as possible! I’m not worried about spreading myself too thin here because every experience I encounter is another opportunity for me to learn and to grow professionally.
Yes to new faces… For the first time in several years, I have been selected to be a mentor for a new teacher in my district. What an amazing opportunity to impart what I’ve learned (both the good and the not-so-good) onto a new teacher. It’s also scary, just like saying yes had been for me, because I feel 100% responsible for this person’s experience in my district/department. Ok… I know, I’m not 100% responsible – but I plan to take this role as seriously as I’ve taken my role as teacher over these past several years. I want to be her safety-net, her first line of defense, and her guide on how to succeed in her classroom and with her students. I definitely don’t have all of the answers, but I have a ton of ideas. If nothing else, I hope that by saying yes to being a mentor, I can help my mentee flex her creative wings and fly!
Yes to new ideas… This goal is getting harder and harder every year because I feel I have always been open to new ideas. In fact, I pride myself on my willingness to experiment with lessons and activities in my classroom! The reason this gets harder is because I feel that I have to continuously “hunt” for the next big thing, or ponder my nights away on how I can improve my instruction. Since joining Twitter a few years ago, the “hunt” has been easier as my Professional Learning Network (PLN) has helped immensely. Had it not been for Twitter, I might not have had an article published on one of my great ideas, the Video Based Question. Had I not had a few articles published and read by local educators, I might not have attended my first EdCamp. Had I not attended my first EdCamp, I wouldn’t have been introduced to so many great tools like Flipgrid and Peardeck! Having said yes to these experiences has brought me to where I am today – a connected educator!
Yes to me… What does this one mean? As I stated before, I have been contemplating and meditating on #sayingyes this year and what this will do for my personal and professional growth. On a personal level, saying yes will challenge me – force me out of my shell, so to speak. I believe it is through our daily challenges that we are able to grow and gain clarity. Clarity brings us focus to what is really important in our lives and the more I allow myself time to be centered and meditate, the more I’m certain of what my future holds. On a professional level, saying yes will hopefully bring me closer to the future I envision for myself as an administrator. It’s still up the air whether I will take the path of curriculum or building leadership (perhaps both!), but I’m certain that my years in the classroom have prepared me for a future in administration. And if not, I’ll keep my lessons fresh and continue to say yes!
East Brunswick High School
East Brunswick, NJ