Happy New Year!!!! I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable kick start to the New Year! I have a good feeling that 2012 is going to be a year rich with opportunities and excitement. Coming into this new year, I can’t help but reflect back on the previous 12 months and smile at what a wonderful adventure 2011 was.
I did my student-teaching in a first grade classroom at an amazing school with an absolutely phenomenal mentor teacher. I’ve had many classroom experiences, but this is the experience that really ignited my passion for teaching – I got to observe and help learn to instill a passion for learning in my students and see the joy that learning brings, as well as witness the determination, excitement, wonderment, discovery, and magic that could only happen with the help of my amazing mentor and 27 eager kiddos. To put it simply, it was pure bliss! Shortly after my student-teaching, I graduated college! Then it was “welcome to the real world!” J
At the start of the summer, I went on several interviews and was offered the position of a Reading Interventionist at a magnificent school. I was a little reluctant at first knowing that I would be giving up the opportunity for my own classroom for my first year of teaching, but I accepted the job. After interviewing and meeting with some of the staff, I had a hard time walking out the doors, knowing that I might not be coming back. It was then that I realized that I was making the right decision – and I am so glad that I did!
Shortly after, I was promoted to a pool manager at my summer job. Even though the pool was a little further away than the other pools I spent the majority of my summers working at, I was willing to make the effort knowing the opportunities that existed. As a pool manager, I was in charge of all the lifeguards, scheduling, pool parties, and creating and maintaining the swim lesson program. It was a lot of hard work, but I met a lot of incredible people and got to do what I do best – teach! J
Once August arrived, my life had switched from the summer sunshine to the dull drone of air conditioning. I had begun my training for my “big girl” job. I spent countless hours staring at the muted, windowless walls of the district training building, dreaming of what my first day in the classroom would actually be like. Finally, after 2 straight weeks of training, the moment I’d been waiting for and dreaming of my entire life had arrived… My first day of teaching!
What a roller coaster ride the rest of the year was! So many ups and downs, sorrows and delights, challenges and celebrations… to sum it up in one word = WOW! I have learned SO MUCH from this year and feel like I am a better teacher because of it. I am continuing to learn and grow, but I am glad to have had these experiences to allow me to become the best I can be. Thank you 2011 for being such a *big* year!
Now onto 2012… Woohoo!!!!
As with the start of every New Year, it is a tradition that I make a New Year’s Resolution. Instead of trying to come up with little goals that I usually follow for about a month and then forget about (eg. working out, eating healthier, etc.), I’ve come up with an all-encompassing resolution – one that I am going to continue working on for the entire year… (drum roll, please)…. I am going to find a balance! This means that I am going to balance my work life with my personal/social life. I am going to make time for my friends and family, as well as enjoying a little “me time” to myself. I am going to be a healthier person overall – making time to cook myself dinner, workout, read a book, etc. I am going to continue being the best teacher I can be by putting forth 100% effort no matter what obstacles land in my way, but realize when it’s time to take a break, relax, and rejuvenate. After all, stress free is the way to be! J
This resolution will come especially handy when it is time to start my Master’s degree. Yep- you read that correctly – I want to pursue my Masters in Reading! I found the perfect program that works with my school schedule and is nearby. Not to mention it is pretty cost-effective (for being a Master’s program). I haven’t officially applied as I have a lot of paperwork to get in order first (3 professional letters of recommendation, official transcripts, possible loans, essays to write, a resume needing to be updated, etc.), but luckily the program doesn’t begin until this summer. I really hope that it works out, as literacy is one of my biggest passions and there is always so much to be learned about how to best teach it (and how kids best learn it)!
Although I am unsure of what this next year will bring, I do know that it will be a joyous adventure! Cheers to 2012, a year of hope, joy, and most importantly, balance!