Looking back over this past year, I wonder if I accomplished anything meaningful… I guess that depends on what you consider meaningful. Rather than dwell on that detail, I’ll share the nutshell version of my year, and reflect on how it has affected my future goals.
Starting in January, I started a new class at my employer. I had a mixed age group of 3 and 4 year olds. I built some great bonds with a group of children I had known since they were 1 year olds. Having a group of only 9 children, I was able to really work with them on things such as writing their names, cutting, etc. I was able to structure the class in exactly the way I wanted to, and for the most part, things went quite smoothly. As in ANY job, there were some challenges. I’m not going to expand on them, other than to say that challenges push me to be a better teacher. I hope to be the kind of person that can be a role model of how to take challenges, and do what I can to make things better.
The mixed age class was only meant to be from January to June. Over the summer, I floated between toddler classrooms. I loved it, and in September, took over as the teacher of the 2 1/2 – 3 year olds. I think I made a lot of positive changes in that classroom. While their constant affection makes working with the 2-3 year olds a lot of fun, it can also be a challenging age to work with. As a group, they have very little impulse control, short attention spans, and don’t always know how to communicate what they need. My job as their teacher is to push their attention spans, give them new things to explore, and teach them ways to interact appropriately with their peers.
My career path is going to be changing quite a bit over the next year. I am going to be backing away from the lead role in a classroom, and go back to a supportive role. I will continue to model high standards for both children and peers. I am focusing on finishing my classes to renew my Teaching License (I won’t QUITE make the December 31st deadline I gave myself, but I am getting very close). After the summer wedding, I’m not sure where my residence will be, but I DO hope to have a teaching job in MN. I used to teach in the School Readiness Preschool program in a school district there. I hope to acquire the same position (or an ECFE job). I feel strongly that I still belong in Early Childhood Education.
I have always enjoyed writing. Several years back, I was in Spiritual Journaling group at my church. I have always felt more comfortable putting my thoughts and feelings in writing… Blogging has appealed to me since I first heard about it. I never really thought it was something I could do. I didn’t think people would be interested in what I have to say. In the past year, I have been encouraged to blog. People have not only read what I have written, but they have also given me positive feedback. I submitted some of my blog posts to a couple of article engines ezine.com. Three of them were selected to be published. One of my published articles ended up earning me a free class through the Professional Learning Board. In the next year, I plan to continue blogging. I hope to have more articles published as well.
This past year, I made a point to spend time with some of my dearest friends that I hadn’t seen much since I moved to WI. I plan to spend more time with people important in my life over the next year.
I also went to several SQL Saturday events with my fiancé. We had the opportunity to travel together to Chicago, Nashville, and Iowa City. At those events, I met a bunch of really cool people! Some of those people, I “talk” to almost daily on Twitter or facebook. Just for the record, a year or so ago, I told Jason I had NO interest in having a Twitter account. Now, I use it as much, if not more, than facebook! I look forward to attending more of these events in the future. I really enjoy the networking as much as exploring the different cities we go to. We have discovered that everywhere we have gone has really cool places to see, it’s up to us to find them. I don’t see myself being able to go to too many this year, as there is a lot going on. I do know I will be exploring Seattle for the first time in October, and then taking my first cruise (on our honeymoon).
Just before Thanksgiving, I got engaged to Jason Strate (blog|twitter). We have known each other for a long time (that story will be another blog post). We plan on getting married July 16th, combining our families to become the “Modern Day Brady Bunch.”
Leading up to the wedding and the months following are going to bring a lot of changes to our family. We will be moving (thought we’re not quite sure where yet). We will also be adjusting to life as a family of 7 instead of a family of 3. Schools will change, my job will change… a lot is unknown. Having so many unknowns is a bit scary, but in a good way. I am hoping it doesn’t fly by so fast, that I don’t have time to enjoy it all!
In my previous post, I talked about my goals to exercise more, spend more time with my kids, and less time on my computer. I also plan on making more efforts to be productive every day. In general, I want to be more focused, more in the present, and just enjoy life in 2011.