Sunday, May 25, 2014

Time to Reflect and Time to Grow

This year was a year of many changes. I haven't blogged much this year and I definitely haven't grown as a professional this year. I know there is a relationship between my time with the #MTBoS and my happiness as a professional, but sometimes I get caught up in all the day-to-day details of life. :(

This is a rambling post, one that is more personal that I normally post, so feel free to skip it and move on to the next blog in your reader. :)

This Year
I've overall had a good year. I have GREAT kids this year and I'm really sad to see them go. This has been one of my favorite senior classes in several years, full of kids with good attitudes and willingness to work hard (well.. at least until Spring Fever hits!). Fall semester was awesome - I had an extra plan period to help with my coordinator duties for Professional Development and AVID and that helped me out in so many ways. My Intermediate Algebra kids bonded and were willing to tackle tough problems with me. Then January came. Spring was tough. My coordinator hour went away as I team-taught a Forensic Science class that hour, which was definitely the highlight of the semester! My Intermediate class went from 17 to 28 and the additional kids made classroom management extremely tough. The variety of abilities in that class was exhausting on a daily basis. My additional responsibilities got pushed to evenings and at least 3-4 times a week, I made it home around 8 or 9 pm. I am physically, mentally, and emotionally spent from this year. However, even with the exhaustion, I am overall happy with how this year is ending.

Professional Growth
As a result of this year's challenges, I did not grow professionally this year as much as I wanted to. I did not keep up on blogs, books, articles, etc and allowed myself to stagnate. I sat down with my AVID District Director last week to reflect on this year and I have so much room to grow as a leader, as a teacher, and as a professional in general. My to-do list is ever growing. The one bright spot is #EduRead, which is forcing me to read and think about an article every week, so that's some growth, right? :)

Personal Growth
Honestly, I'm more proud of my personal (lack of) growth than anything else this year. Not many people in the blog-o-sphere know me in real life, but if you were to meet me a year ago, you would have met a fairly large woman in her mid-30s with a passion for teaching. A dear friend inspired me to start putting myself at a higher priority and starting on March 1, 2013, I did. The 2012-13 school year was not one of my favorites and I found myself relieving stress through food. (To be honest, that actually started after my nephew's passing in December 2004, then with one major death every year in our families, the cycle continued.) In March 2013, buoyed by my friend's success, I decided to use an app on my phone to track every bite that I took. By the time school started in August, I had lost 36 pounds. Throughout this current school year, I have lost an additional 43 pounds to date, bringing my total lost in the past 15 months to 79 pounds. In March 2014, hubby bought us both FitBit Flex Bands, which has encouraged us to walk more and this week was the first time I actually averaged 10,000 steps per day (yay!). In the 8 weeks that I have worn the FitBit, I have walked 243 total miles... wow! Even in a very stressful year, I have learned better habits and been more mindful of the choices I make on a daily basis. Of course, getting to buy really cute clothes doesn't hurt either! As some of my friends can attest, I have taken more "selfie" shots than ever! I have always been one to avoid the camera, but now I feel more confident in my physical self. :)

Memorial Day Clean-A-Thon
For some reason, Memorial Day weekend often ends up with me tackling some major household project and spending a lot of reflection time while doing so. Yesterday was a crazy day in many ways. We started out by running a few errands, which meant getting dressed and out of the house. I wore shorts for the first time in YEARS! (and I looked really cute.. just saying!) After buying several random items and some cute new clothes for hubby (who has also lost about 70 pounds), we came home to clean. My neighbor wants to have a garage sale and I already knew I needed to clean out my closet, so my bedroom got a total tear-down yesterday. If it didn't fit, it went away, which is kind of scary since I did a similar closet cleanout over Christmas break, so most of what I packed up this weekend is in that "semi-fits, but really baggy" stage. I told hubby on our evening walk that it was nerve-wracking to clean out my closet this time because what happens if I gain weight? Weight has been a life-long struggle for me and I've been every size from 12 to 24 in the 18 years I've been with hubby. However, with the technology available to me now, with the app that I record every meal and my FitBit I don't think I will gain it back, but it still scares me. Besides cleaning out all of my drawers and closet, I also tackled my jewelry area, the master bathroom cabinets, and the hallway linen closet. Before we ever went for our evening walk, I was already close to 9,000 steps for the day.

Saying Good-bye
Yesterday, we also said goodbye to one of our pets. Smokey was one of our first ferrets and we adopted him and his brother, Bandit, from a ferret rescue in November 2009. They were born in February 2006, so they were already 3.5 years old when we adopted them. Ferrets typically live about 6-7 years and we lost Bandit in September 2012. Throughout the time we had the boys, Smokey was always the more "sturdy" ferret, but for the past several months, we had watched him decline as old age set in. About 8 weeks ago, we put him into "hospice", which was a small cage in our bedroom so that his distance to the food/water and litter box was much reduced. He had developed cataracts in both eyes and moving around was difficult for him. We did everything possible to keep him comfortable, but we knew his days were numbered. Yesterday, while we were out running errands, Smokey passed quietly in his sleep, cuddled under a blanket.

End of my Ramble
I have run out of things to say and it's time to go shower and get ready to have lunch with friends... Enjoy the rest of your 3-day weekend!


pamjwilson said...

Wow. I cannot wait to see you! You are amazing. It's tough to balance everything but when you take care of self you are more ready to help others! Love this post and the fact that you reflect on all aspects of it or not they do become intertwined. I always appreciate your input and willingness to help. Though I enjoy eduread, last week's of school eat me alive. Looking so forward to this summer and chats/challenges!

BTW what app did you use?

druin said...

Thanks! This was a hard post because I usually don't share this kind of personal stuff :)

I use the "Lose It" app, but I have friends that like "My Fitness Pal".

Can't wait to see you this year at TMC! We're going to have a blast :)

kathy said...

Wow!! Ditto with the you are amazing!!! I don't know where you find the time/energy to do everything you do. Just keeping up and learning new technology and methods of teaching is exhausting, never mind maintaining several blogs, twitter, etc...

I too had a tough year with the loss of my brother and then my dad was battling cancer and passed in early December 2014. It's so hard to do everything, be a good sister, daughter, mother, wife, teacher, aunt, fiend etc...Not personally knowing you, I have always admired how dedicated you are and how willing you are to share!!! Kudos to you and your accomplishments!!!

druin said...

Kathy -
Thank you! I am very blessed to be surrounded by very supportive people, including you!

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother and father. I know how hard that can be. My sister and best friend passed away 4 years ago this week and while the loss never goes away, the pain does lessen. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I only just read this today and I'm impressed by your authenticity. You shared a lot of yourself. I've appreciated getting to know you professionally through our #eduread chats. Your post about summer to-do lists made me think that it's time to make some plans for learning over the summer. Thanks.