Today was day one of work for me in 2016, and it felt good. I really kept my promise to not work at all in any way over the winter break. I am so proud of myself, and while there was some drama over the holiday, it was still a great mental break that was very much needed. While I didn't want to get up early this morning, once I got going things went well. It started with getting to work earlier than expected, attending the shortest of faculty meetings ever and being dismissed to "do whatever you need to do to be ready for the kids," then an hour of prep for a level 2 team meeting that, by the way, ran smooth as silk and got out on time, and finally ended with several hours of prep time to get my mind and plans ready for my students to return tomorrow. It was a good day. Am I done and 100% ready for tomorrow? No, but that's okay. I have just a few little things to do to get there. No worries. I've got this.
2016 for me is proving to be a break of another kind. It is a lightening of the load and a reduction in my responsibilities, and for that reason and all the hard lessons I learned to get to this point my #oneword for 2016 makes sense, even if it seems odd. So, drumroll please...
The Amy Lenord #oneword of 2016 is...
As in "do your job" not "the patience of Job," although 2015 required that of me, too.
So, how can I go from full stop to "do your job" that quickly? Allow me to explain.
For 2016 I want to focus on my job and I want to stop letting external forces and responsibilities kill my love for and my attention to it. I want to be more present in my classroom, my department and on my campus, especially being a newbie there. I want to find my place in my new school and build relationships with students and my fellow faculty members. I want to focus on the things that excited me about my job, and that led to this blog, my connecting to the #langchat PLN and all the other amazing experiences I have enjoyed the last five or six years of my career. I mean, it was posting about my teaching and my students' learning, not to mention my own learning which allowed me to do all of those other things anyway, right?
I have to confess something now. This one is a bit painful and even a bit embarrassing, but I have a feeling I am not the only one who has dealt with this. I don't know, I guess we will see. Anyway, my confession is this -- I got a little caught up in attention I was getting and the successes that came my way and I let things mess with my head. It wasn't that I got a big head or anything like that, but I do feel I got knocked off my normal path. The more success, attention and opportunity that came my way the last couple years due to the blog and other projects of mine, the more pressure I felt I had to live up to it all. I then felt like my creativity got stifled and my extra time was absorbed with extra things to do and participate in. The pressure was getting overwhelming and much of it was self induced! The one thing that suffered the most was my teaching because I didn't have time in the week to do my normal planning because I was so busy either resting or catching up on the grading that piled up. Add to that the need to sacrifice that precious time I normally allotted to blogging that was for ME. It was my time to process what I was seeing and learning and simply unload the thoughts in my head. That time was so important to me and, it was put on hold for almost a year. Ouch! Put all of that together and what you saw was an empty shell of an educator. Ugh!
Today's "good day" was refreshing because it was it was simple. Nothing else was going on except my job. It was nice to get back to normal. It was nice to do things like calendar, coach my peers who need tech support, lead a meeting, and just do my job. So, I am excited about tomorrow, and I haven't felt that in a long time. I have actually felt the opposite about my job for a while... dread, and that isn't a good thing.
Thank you, Lord, for leading me through such a tough season.
Thank you, Byron Lenord, for keeping me sane and loving me through it all.
Thank you, #langchat, for being such a community of amazing cheerleaders.
Thank you, 2015, but GOODBYE!
Happy New Year, friends! May God bless you in buckets in 2016!
Back to coaching!
(n.) A special place where we remember that students are humans that need to feel loved and important, where their achievements are celebrated every day and where we learn Spanish along the way!
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