I love New Year's! It's a lot like the beginning of the school year, with opportunities for fresh starts in many areas of our lives. My 2013-2014 year got off to a pretty good start, but this week and a half of break has given me a chance to step back and take a look at what might be better. Time to dust off, sharpen up, and polish a few areas in my personal and professional life.
First up: Journaling. I always tell my students that journaling is extremely important because it's the way we let future generations know who we really are. If you do not keep a journal and leave it where your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will find it, how will they know who you are inside? How will they know what is important to you, what you were like when you were young, what you thought about the world in general, your interests in specific, and most importantly what you were thinking about them. I have four beautiful grandchildren, and a fifth one on the way. This is the week that I will start a journal for each one of them. I won't write in each one every day, but will pull one out to record a new experience we've had together or a sweet memory when one comes to mind. My two year old grandson had his first sleepover at our house last night. What an amazing time Grandma, Papa, and our little bundle of energy had! How incredible it will be for him to open his journal when he is a grown man and remember the silliness and fun of this visit!
Also first up: my friends. Eight of our closest friends are coming to our house for dinner tomorrow night, and I was just thinking how precious their friendship is to us, and how we don't do this kind of thing often enough. Now is a great time to start some new traditions with friends.
Second in line: My district has recently selected me as one of six teachers to receive training in the new NGSS science standards. Our charge is to develop a vision for our district in the adoption of the standards, and then work with teachers to implement them. We're learning some great teaching moves in our training sessions. Time to bring more of them back to my students and start inviting other teachers in! I'm really excited about this new opportunity and want to do it right!
Third: I've been cleaning closets at home. How many pairs of black pants does one person really need? (Just an example from the teeniest tip of the overabundant iceberg!) Anyway, while folding my gazillion sweaters, I started thinking about the file cabinets in my classroom which have so many teacher books that I never look at anymore. When I need a fresh idea, I just search on TpT and always find what I need. Often, I find even more that I didn't even know I needed. Affordable, fun, and I know where to find it on my flash drive, under "My Purchases" or n my computer desktop. Why root through the filing cabinets anymore? Maybe someone else can use them. I plan to take a stack of teacher books to the faculty room every week. What is still there in Friday will go to the recycler in the parking lot.
Fourth: My blog. I actually enjoy blogging, and don't know why I don't do it more often. I make plans, often take classroom photos, jot notes, and then forget about it when it comes time to record it here. I have promised myself to blog more often this year.
As for my TpT store, I plan to work on some more novel units for the read-alouds that my classes have truly loved, many of them not your usual fourth grade choices, and also to add more math and science products. Social Studies? Next year! (I'm trying set realistic and attainable goals here!)
Finally: More travel with hubby. Giant friends trip already planned for this summer to Denver because our friend's son is getting married there. More trips from our "really should go there someday" list after that.
Linking this blog post up with "A Peach for the Teach". (Love her name and the glittery peach on her blog banner!) Follow the link below for more resolutions from our blogging buddies!
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