Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017 + OLW 2017 + 2016 Reflections

Happy New Year! I for one was very glad to say goodbye to 2016. It was such a crazy year in so many respects. Onward and upward!

This post will be sort of a hodge-podge. Clearly I am not the sort of blogger who has ever felt the need to conform and make my posts all cutesy. I'm just real and honest and that's all I can guarantee with each and every post...even when they come few and far between. (And for the love of lemonade, I promise that Interventions post is coming! More on why that is delayed in a bit.) **Can I point out how much I miss Currently because it at least made sure I was posting every month?**

First I'd like to reflect on 2016. I'm not sure I can honesty remember another year that had so many huge ups and downs. Some truly amazing things happened for me in 2016, but also some sad things and some downright scary things happened too.

Arguably the biggest thing that happened to me was also life changing. I became a grandma. Yeah, I'm young (not even 40!) but I also had The Oldest young so there is that :) I have all daughters, no sons of my to be blessed with this beautiful baby boy as my grandson has just been amazing. For many years, I have had on-again, off-again baby fever (likely due to my young age when I had all of my kiddos)...this way I get to enjoy some of the spoils of baby but not the 24/7 all consumingness that comes with a new baby. I was so very blessed to stay home for two weeks and help The Oldest adjust to her new role as a momma and I will be forever grateful that I had that time. It was magical for us both.

It's hard to believe that in just 10 days that little guy will be 9 months old! He certainly has stolen his grandma's heart. And since his momma doesn't plan to have another child for awhile (she would like to finish school) and my other kids are only 14 and 15...chances are this little guy will be the only grandbaby for many years. So spoil him we shall :)

I just love this pic collage I made. That's him and I on Christmas Day on the right. The absolute and pure joy on his face when he looks up at me just melts my heart, every single time. The left was taken today. He sure looks mad huh? But he wasn't...he was alternately yelling, laughing, and leaning back like this. (His mom told me its because no one was holding him upside down LOL) He stayed over for New Years Eve and it was amazing for me (but reinforced I am waaaay beyond having a baby at this point). 

This winter break was shorter for us this year and I didn't do a single school related thing. Not one! I had the best of intentions...and you better believe I have a pile at my feet that does need to get done before I go to bed tomorrow...but it was SO NICE to not worry about anything to do with school or grad school. So it'll get done but I'm so, so glad I took the time to just relax and enjoy my own kids and my grandbaby. It was worth it.

The only things I sort of did that could possibly be related to school was catch up on some reading. Below is a short list of the books I finished up over this break:

I read this book as some research for my Ed.D. I am currently in the research phase and will be focusing upon self-regulation with elementary students. This book was recommended by a friend and will become a cornerstone of some of the work I do for my dissertation. It's a fast read and probably would have saved my sanity many times as my own kids were growing up!

This one was recommended to me by someone in my PLN. It's a great book, especially if you're a leader in any educational capacity (including teacher leaders). It really shows you how you can stop being an accidental diminisher and start being a Multiplier.

Okay, okay this one totally isn't related to education...but we saw the movie and I had to order this for my collection (plus The Youngest snagged the screenplay for her birthday sooo....)

Up Next
This one is definitely next on my reading list. I have skimmed it a bit but I want to at least get through the front matter where she explains how she put the book together and such before I head back to school on Tuesday. I just ordered the Writing Strategies book and can't wait to get my hands on that one as well!

This is another one that will be devoured here shortly (grad school doesn't resume until January 9 so that's about all the time I have HAHA). I participated in some EdCamp Voxer chats about Growth Mindset both this summer and over winter break and I'm excited to dive into this one, especially since I think it will relate quite nicely to the self-regulation work I plan to do for the dissertation.

I'd say, by far, my biggest professional achievement this year was being a co-author of the first #EduMatch Snapshot in Education book. (You can snag a free copy of the ebook at this link or check out the Kindle and paperback versions [EduMatch: Snapshot in Education (2016)] at My chapter focuses on student centered assessment. A co-author and I co-moderated an EdCampVoxer chat on the topic in July, then I wrote the chapter and originally that was going to be my dissertation topic...still kind of is except I'm focusing more now on whether or not kiddos can learn to be better self-regulators in order to have more authentic student assessment and ownership.  Kind of nerdy but definitely fun for me.

That leads me to my #onelittleword for 2017. I have done OLW before but honestly haven't put much stock into it beyond the first few months of the year. This year, I think, will be different. Partly because I have plastered it all over my Life Planner but also because I have ordered a graphic to put on my phone where I will see it every single day of 2017 to remind me. My word this year is Inspire...because I have been so inspired by others throughout my journey as a connected educator and I want every move I make in 2017 to be with the intention to inspire someone else.

And on that note, I will leave you with wonderful blessings for 2017. It can only get better from here, right? :)


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