Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy 2015!

So, it's been a hot minute since I stopped by here.  Lots of movement this school year has me blogging more in my head (and Instagram) and less in the actual blogosphere.  Is there an actual blogosphere?  Hmmm...

Regardless, August had me beginning another adventure in first grade.  Our school received a new principal, two new assistant principals, a new literacy coach, a new math coach, a new school guidance counselor and a new grade level teammate (as two of our cohorts moved up to 2nd grade).  All of the changes have been fabulous!  Our school is heading in a great, fresh direction!

One unassuming day in early October, I was called to the principal's office.  It still makes my heart pound when someone calls  me to the principal.  Of course, it was a happy invitation.  Our school was lucky enough to add a second reading interventionist and my principal asked me.

I was stunned.  This came straight out of left field.  What an honor and nerve racking decision to be 24 hours and I wasn't allowed to talk it out with my teammates!  These are my girls, ya'll!  After as much deliberation as I could engage in, I accepted the position of first and second grade reading interventionist.  I fell in love with the push to teach students to read in the early elementary grades.  That's what I have been doing for the past 10 years, right?

Students were moved to new classes, and my interventionist partner and I transformed my little portable into a great reading space.

My new focus is to guide and push my 80 students to read at (and hopefully above) grade level.  I love, LOVE, LOVE this position.  As with so much in our district, and public education as a whole, I don't know if this position will be available next school year or not, but I am going to wring out all I can from this challenge and get those kids reading like champs!

Now you're caught up. Ha!  On to 2015.

I'm linking up with Erica of Erica's Ed-Ventures for a New Year Resolution linky shindig.

I'm saving money this year.  Plain and simple.  I work too hard to continue to fret and worry about the unexpected.  I'm tired of wanting to travel to exotic locales and not taking the steps to get my butt there.  After contemplating and really evaluating my likelihood of sticking to a saving plan, I decided to take a page from Molly of Lucky to Be in First who shared a saving plan on Instagram.  I love the start-with-the-most plan.  For me, actually taking the money from the bank and placing cold, hard cash in a jar is the best option.  It's too easy to transfer money between accounts and end up with squat.  I am so less likely to spend saved cash.  Actually seeing it disappear hurts my heart.

Along with the plan, I want to start cleaning out my purse of change and small bills each Sunday and add that to the savings jar.  Exciting!

First, I must continue my New-School-Year-Resolution of planning ahead.  Now with 80 students tied to my name and end-of-the-year evaluation (thanks Gov. Scott) I have to stay ahead with planning.  This means not waiting to plan Sunday night, not waiting to plan the day before, but planning with intention--using that data--about a week ahead of time.  I see 13 small groups a day for 30 minutes at a time.  This time HAS to be focused, engaging and meaningful every time the students are gathered around my table.  No exceptions, no excuses.

Another professional goal for 2015 is to start the work to add a reading endorsement to my certificate.  With a reading interventionist position it really makes sense, but if I want to be the best primary grade teacher I can be, literacy has to be the driving force behind any lesson no matter the subject or skill.  Currently, I've enrolled in my first class through our district's professional development system.  It's an online course and I am on a wait list.  Signing up for these courses is like Black Friday shopping.  They put out the advertising early, then if aren't busting down the doors, you're out of luck.  But, I'm number 2 and have never been excluded from a course due to being wait listed.  Cross your fingers this holds true!

Now, those of you who know me in real life may get a little giggle out of reading this heading, but I am health conscience, even if it only means I know I shouldn't eat two $2 Big Macs and a large fry for dinner even if I don't say no.

I get called lots of names in jest--Skinny B*thc (love you Sue), Skinny Minnie, etc.  I don't think  I am that skinny, but whatever.  I eat like a 300 pound linebacker (Go Steelers!) and am lucky enough to have good least for now.  My birthday is approaching fast and I know these genes aren't going to hold out much longer.

My health goals for 2015 is to stay active and DO.  I'm not a runner.  Too much running as a punishment during my basketball years.  But I love when I practiced yoga, I love being outdoors and I love new adventures.

I rejuvenated my much too neglected yoga practice with #30Daysof Yoga as Yoga with Adriene as my awesome guide.  Today was day 2 and I am loving every second, deep exhale and drop of sweat.  Even my man said he was glad I started up again.  He said it "gets my mind right". Ha!

This spring and summer we have some mountain hikes planned and I always look forward to the summer kayaking escapades.

Notice, no eating/diet goals.  I want to continue to eat like a linebacker.  I love food!

Being mindful is my personal goal of 2015.  Mindful of those I love.  Mindful of me.  Mindful of my students.  I take too much for granted and need to practice staying in the moment so that it is no longer a practice and becomes a habit and unconsciousness/conscious act.

Taking that mindfulness a step farther, my other word for 2015 is do.  I get caught up in saying I want to, or I will, or I wish I could ____.  Why not just do!  I am my biggest brick wall and stumbling block.  This year I will get out of my own way and DO.

There is power in saying and writing goals.  Embrace the power!  What are your goals for 2015?