Yes, I am still here! Maybe my New Year's Resolutions will explain a few things.
Susan's Non-OCD New Year's Resolutions
1. Strive for balance in everything - work, nutrition, exercise, and play.
2. Don't feel guilty about resting and relaxing.
3. Make time with family and friends a priority.
4. Spend more time doing what I enjoy.
5. Have an adventure.
I realize that some of those seem like no-brainers, but my resolutions last year consisted of a four page carefully organized list of everything that needed to be done around the house, school, TpT, and how much exercise I needed to do and when. This is a much healthier approach to the year, and I am off to a great start.
This weekend we went to the Pantages and saw Wicked. It was my niece and nephew's first time in Hollywood (much squealing and picture taking), and their first time seeing a professional production. That smile on her beautiful face stayed there all night. Worth every minute of the Friday night traffic and sleep lost on the late night.
I have spent many a night happily knitting. Over the last month, I have pretty much knitted something for everyone in my family (who would let me, nephews in their twenties are not very fun). It relaxes me, allows me to be creative, and I love it.
Hank and Lucy are very happy because our walking has once more become a regular thing. Not the frantic paced "workout walk" of before, but a leisurely couple miles after school.
I am working really hard at staying focused at school. I have been using every minute of time preparing and grading, no more tangents and stress-pity parties. Not only that, but with a few exceptions, I have been out the door and in the parking lot within an hour after the kids leave. The best part, nothing is going home with me during the week. On Fridays, I do take home a few select sets of papers and things to plan with for the next week.
One of my few late days was because I attended a Read 180 meeting for the district. They shared our district wide results for the SRI. My partner and I had the best results of any middle school in the district - by a landslide. I allowed myself to enjoy the praise and shared it with my class. They were thrilled! In addition to an average growth of 147 Lexiles in three and half months, six of my System 44 kiddos blew away the SPI and moved into Read 180!
Of course, it is hard for me to not look at the bottom few and question my teaching. However, I am trying to be more positive. One student moved, one was leaving for vacation that day and was frantic, and the others still exceeded the district expected growth. Still, I wanted all of them to shine.
Finally, I wanted to share what I found on my desk the first day back.
Our administrators left a personal note on each teachers' desk. I can't tell you how nice that was to see on Monday morning. It changed my whole attitude about starting back. We have about 45 staff members. That was a lot of note-writing over break. Mine is clipped above my desk in the back of the room. I must have read it over twenty times. It still fills my teacher heart with a happy smile every time. This is my 26th year of teaching, and I have never had such a thoughtful note to greet me on the first Monday back.
Bring it on 2015!