Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

Greetings colleagues! Welcome back after what I hope was a restful and relaxing winter holiday!

This morning I received an e-mail from a colleague who was excited to share work from innovative teachers in the district while also linking an article about innovative teaching. It spurred my idea for today's blog post!

As I read articles like this, I am always reflective about how I can improve my teaching practices. I am a thoughtful teacher - it is one of my strengths as I have grown much as a teacher (while also a weakness; I take things too personally while being reflective). I see within my units ones that are more innovative than others, and that's due to the frustration of being an "island."

I have come to realize, after the last five years of "iPad teaching" that I cannot do it all. Even though I have a good idea of what I'm doing in my classroom, I still need training, support, and colleagues who are willing to be risk-takers with me. But after five years, I am still an island. And I believe that is part of what is stressing me out and burning me out of teaching.

Bloggers have been focused this last week with #oneword2017 blog posts. I am jealous that I don't have one of these posts because I a) cannot come up with a word for myself and b) am so stressed out and burned out that I haven't worked hard at coming up with a term for my 2017 goals. So I am going to blog about my New Year's resolutions that have absolutely nothing to do with school.

Goal #1: Read 35 books before the end of the year. For many, this may not seem like a lofty goal, but I have to be intentional about reading each night. There are times where I feel pressured about school and make a choice to grade instead of read. There is simply no reason for that. My job is teaching, but that is not the only thing to me. With that, I also vow to read whatever book I want - it does not have to be educational, it does not have to be historical - if I want to read some chick-lit, well, I am going to do just that!

Goal #2: Exercise three times a week. I already know that I will not do this EVERY week of the year. Sometimes there are just weeks where I should workout, but will find it difficult to make the time. I made a vow that my exercise does not have to be something I do not enjoy. I don't like running. I don't particularly like hiking. I do, however, enjoy swimming, yoga, walking in Palmer Park, and lifting weights. Exercise is about being intentional and supporting one's physical and mental health. If I am not at my best health-wise, then I cannot be my best as a teacher.

Goal #3: Be invested in photography. I take pictures. I actually take pretty good pictures. I bought a new camera last summer that helps me take awesome pictures. This year, I want to take more pictures. Sure, I sell my photography online. But I take pictures because I enjoy seeing the final results. I like studying new photographic techniques that allow me to take pictures like a pro. So I want to create a new set of photographs at least once a month.

I know that most of this blog was not school-related even though this is an educational blog. But I also know that I have interests, outside of school, that need to nurturing as much as my teaching practices.

If you made it to the end, thank you for reading! I'll plan on seeing you next week :) 

- Rachel
My Teacherspayteachers website