Skip to main content

Reflections on the past year

Almost a year ago we relocated to Quito, Ecuador

after having spent six years living in Calgary, Alberta.
Image from: http://bit.ly/19cIuyP

Those six years in Calgary were wonderful; both my husband and I had amazing jobs and we made some good friends while we were there. I could write an entire blog post about the great things going on at the Calgary Board of Education and how that quickly changed about three years ago to look more and more like what's happening in the U.S.

The first year we were in Calgary, after having lived 10 years in Quito, were undeniably challenging and surprisingly so. There were so many adjustments to make - the weather, the culture, the educational system, just to name a few. Yet, we faced them all with such aplomb that at one point late into those six years I even considered just staying on for the long haul. However, family and friends here called out to us and we realized that we needed to return to our home base.

The move back to Quito was no less dramatic and fraught with its own challenges. My job situation was less than ideal as my job description changed radically just a couple of months before our move. And, although I tried to be optimistic, I was definitely disappointed. That disappointment followed me throughout the year as the school struggled to accommodate to my son's strengths and needs, and I struggled with a school that, although known to me, seemed to be focusing on the wrong things. Now, at the end of the school year, I can safely say we are on the other side of all those seemingly heart wrenching decisions (we moved my son to another school mid-year) and we are settling in to living here.

The coming school year will bring other challenges, no doubt, but I anticipate a sense of renewal as the summer approaches. Although the next few months promise to be very busy (I need to finish revisions to my research proposal for my EdD), I will also make time to spend with my family and to recharge my batteries, so to speak. I plan to do lots of pleasure and professional reading as well as participate in Teachers Write and do some planning for my classes next year. I'm also exploring some other possibilities that I will write about later if they come to fruition. In the meantime, I am staying positive by following the adaptation of the Serenity Prayer that was recently posted on the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living:

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me."

So how's your year been? What are you planning to do this summer to recharge your batteries? Post a comment below to share.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mini Lessons

Sometimes, I plan too many teaching points for one lesson. For example, instead of focusing on one strategy that students need in order to become more proficient readers and writers, I try to teach several strategies at the same time. 

Sometimes, I stretch out a teaching point beyond the 10- or 12-minute time limit I've given myself because I worry that my mini lesson wasn't enough or my students won't have understood what I intended to teach. So, sometimes, I beat the lesson to a pulp one too many times, or forget to have the kids practice the lesson before they go off to read or write. (Asking students to practice a lesson after you teach it, with you right there to observe and help guide students through the process, is very effective. Try not to skip this step!)  

Here's an example of a mini lesson that lasted less than 10 minutes and resulted in better learning.

My students are in the second round of historical fiction book clubs. In a couple of weeks, we will start …

A Confession

I have a confession to make.

I want to write a book. 
A professional book. 
I think I have a lot to say. 
I think others could benefit from my experience.
After all, I have been an educator for over 30 years.

But, what could I possibly say that hasn't been said before?
What new knowledge could I add to the table?
Who would even bother to read what I have to say?

These are questions borne of fear.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of not being able to complete such a daunting project. 
(At least, that's what it feels like to me right now.)
Fear that I won't make time.
Fear that I'll run out of time.

But, over the last couple of days, I've gotten some encouraging words of support from the Innovative Teaching Academy - 
#ITA17 Facebook group. 

You can do it!Write for yourself.
But the message that is propelling me forward is this one: 
It doesn't matter how many times something has been said...each time someone else says it, new people hear it...and that's where you make the d…

Questions

Today's post is short and sweet because I just got back from a night of playing Bunko with friends. 

I share some questions I'm grappling with in my classroom. 

No answers. 

Just questions.

(1) What purpose do math stations serve in my classroom?

(2) How can I continue to engage writers without overwhelming them or me?

(3) How can I determine if my tangled readers are learning to be better readers from the books they choose to read?

(4) How can I strike a balance between student choice and making sure my students learn what they need to learn at any given time?

(5) Am I demanding too much from my students?

As I find responses and solutions to these issues, I will post some ideas on my blog.

Any thoughts are more than welcomed!