Happy 2019! With each new year comes the time to reflect on what has passed and also time to begin to set goals for the future.
I began selecting a word for the #OneWordChallenge in 2017 with "inspire". Inspire set the tone for my year and helped to push and reinvigorate myself as an educator.
2018 brought me to "intentional", and once again gave me a focus and goals for the new year. I worked to be very intentional in the decisions I made to best support students and also be intentional in the conversations I had with teachers, administrators, students, and the community. It was a year where I completed my 25th year in education and met and became part of a PLN that has forever changed my path as an educator. They are the friends I have come to rely on daily to push my thinking, challenge my beliefs, and above all support me both professionally and personally. I spoke more about my 2018 accomplishments in a previous blog.
My biggest disappointment in 2018 came from not being accepted into a doctoral program at a local university. Earning my EdD has long been a goal of mine, and when the opportunity presented itself in a local university's new program, I jumped at the chance and was beyond excited to dive into my dissertation research. The "why" I didn't get in after getting through the screening and interview process still evades me, but I decided to take this time I would now have available and pursue other opportunities. This included participating in book studies through #2menandabook, starting this blog, contributing a chapter and a vignette to books being published in spring 2019, and working on an article for an educational journal which will also be published this spring. I chose to believe in the quote from the Bible: "When God closes a door, he opens a window". I had to believe in something better waiting for me.
Now moving ahead to 2019...my 26th year in education and the year I will turn 50. The word that encompasses all that I am feeling heading into the year is CHALLENGE.
The CHALLENGE comes both personally and professionally.
Personally, I want to challenge myself to turn 50 healthy and strong. This requires me to get back to regular exercise, something has been missing due to injuries over the past few years. No excuses. The words to Tim McGraw's song "My Next 30 Years" seems to sum up my thinking:
I think I'll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it's time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years
Oh my next thirty years, I'm gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I'll remember my next thirty years
My CHALLENGE also comes professionally, as I want to expand upon my accomplishments of 2018 by continuing to be an active part of my PLN (#4OCFpln), continuing to read, write and publish, presenting professional development both in and out of district, continually challenging myself in my leadership position as I work to serve the students and staff in my district, and being open to accepting new challenges as they present themselves. I can already see some of these challenges on the horizon.
I am looking forward to having CHALLENGE guide my year and provide focus for me both personally and professionally. Thanks to the #4OCFpln, I have become more open to embracing challenges and even seeking them out to not only help me continually grow, but to always focus on and work for the best interests of the students in my district.