Saturday, January 14, 2017

#OneWord 2016 Reflection

Wow! Time flies and I had not realized it has been SO long since I wrote a blog post. So many things happening that I had to prioritize and this outlet lost the battle. That is totally unfortunate, however, since I find that expressing my thoughts and reflecting are extremely powerful.

This school year I am incredibly thankful for my new position. I accepted a role as Instructional Technology Coach in our district! I cannot put into words how exciting this change is for me. Not only am I able to continue to learn about purposeful technology integration, I have a greater platform to work with educators, develop ideas, and build capacity. It feels like a perfect fit for me and I am really enjoying it. Of course, the transition has brought many challenges and feelings out that I didn't expect - having been on one campus with basically the same core people for sixteen years was harder to leave than I ever imagined. Those people are my second family and we grew up together during our early adult years. Several of us are close friends - attended weddings, welcomed new babies, mourned lives lost, raised our babies together, and had each other. We were our own village and I miss them all very much! This barely scratches the surface of how this change has impacted my boys - new school, new friends, new sports teams. Yet I knew it was time to choose something new. I absolutely LOVE teaching and miss students so much; however, I was ready to share my passion beyond the classroom, campus, my PLN... and it was a hard choice!

Over the course of last school year, I felt led to do more. I enjoyed my campus, loved my students and parents, enjoyed my coworkers... but I was hungry to learn and grow. My district provides opportunities for growth and leadership, and I was fortunate to learn from those and gain experience. My campus empowered us to seek leadership opportunities and I did what I could to explore different roles and push forward. The area I live in provides multiple learning opportunities and I attended what I could to grow, connect, and learn. However, I still wanted more. After lots and lots... and lots of discussion with my family plus many lists of pros and cons I decided to return to grad school and get my master's degree. This may seem like a small decision to some but I never would have guessed I would want to pursue higher learning as a teacher all these years. I felt fed from my campus, district, and region - yet recently, I needed more. Plus, even harder was the decision to make the time commitment. I knew it would take time from my family, my friends, and especially my boys - working mom guilt is hard enough, but could I handle the pressure when adding in work plus school? We decided it was beneficial for my career, my desire for new learning, and a good example for my boys to see both their parents seek continuous learning as adults.

Last year my #OneWord was CHOOSE, which I wrote about here. That was no joke and the perfect word for my year. Mid-way through the year, I did a self-assessment and wrote here about my #OneWord at that point. As a part of a school assignment and also part of identifying who I am in my new role, I created a vision statement for myself:

I strive to be a change agent* by empowering others, building relationships, connecting, collaborating, and inspiring others to grow from where they are.

As I reflect on my year in 2016 - so many choice and such a year of change for me and my family. Some areas I chose to move in a new direction: new job, new schools for the boys, grad school, new baseball teams for the boys, new car. Some areas I chose to lose priority: time for exercise, time for friends, time for me. This has had an impact on my well-being as I need friends, exercise, time for myself; but all in all I feel I balanced it all to the best of my abilities. As I work to select my #OneWord for 2017, I think of how I can learn from my #OneWord focus the last few years and select a great word to empower myself to truly enjoy the decisions I make with no regrets, looking forward and being present in each moment.

What. A. Year!

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