I am really trying to be reflective about the year I have had and looking back at some of the posts that I have written. I see many people doing these types of reflections on their most visited or popular posts, but I wanted to look at the posts that have had the most meaning to me. I am inspired to do this after reading my good friend Summer Howarth’s blog post on the “Year that Was“, which was deeply personal and open. Personally, I know I connect on a much deeper level to the bloggers that share these stories. I especially liked this quote from Summer about her future:
* Take a chance. If you don’t like your situation, change it. You aren’t a tree.
So as I look back at my own year, I just wanted to share some of the posts that I go back and read that give me some perspective on how I am doing as a person, not so much as an educator:
1. Fall Apart; Fall Together – This was an extremely tough time for me personally and I like to think that I look back at this time and have become stronger. As with any person, struggles are never simply “over” but they are something that you continue to look back and reflect on. As I grow, I know that true strength comes from being able to acknowledge weakness, not by ignoring it. I have to continue to read my own words below:
I have learned to not just dream anymore, but to full on pursue those dreams. I have learned to refocus my efforts to be the leader that I need to be for those that I serve. I was at my lowest and I was able to come out of it because others loved me and believed in me. I need to continue to grow and be that person. All of those people that stuck by me and helped me have motivated me to do the same for others.
2. Why I Try To Follow Every Teacher I Can on Twitter – Connecting with people on Twitter has not only been career changing but life changing (seriously). I have met so many amazing people through Twitter and I am always excited about the next conference or connection that I will make because of how I have connected over this social network. It has been a great ride! Here are some of my thoughts on why I connect to so many:
I have learned over and over again, that I have no idea who I can help, who can help me, and who I can be the connector for between two separate parties, so I do my best to follow as many teachers as possible. You do not have to be a prolific “Tweeter” to help me become a better educator although your sharing does help. A ton of people trusted that they could learn from something from me a long time ago when I had contributed very little, so I am going to continue to do the same.
3. Lessons from Shaq -My sweet dog Shaq has been struggling a little bit as she gets older, but she is just as smiley as ever. Probably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life was when I first went to the SPCA and got my first dog Kobe, which led to Shaq, and now Odom. I just absolutely love dogs because of all they teach you and as I wrote about Shaq, she taught me to “ keep giving love, keep giving love, keep giving love.” As she gets older, she continues to push me to try and get better:
After 13 years with Shaq, she is now crawling into bed and nestling right beside me every single night I am home. It has taken a long time but I appreciate it a great deal because she taught me that if you keep giving love, eventually that love will be returned in spades. Dogs have a funny way of making us better and teaching us to be kinder people to all those that we encounter.
I have learned to love blogging because it has given me these opportunities to look back on much more than schools and education, but hopefully, my growth as a person.