Monday, December 23, 2013

Wrap it up with a bow

Picture the day, sun just begins to rise and it is a cool 57 degrees.  Everywhere you look there are others preparing for the same challenge.  After going off on our own we reassemble with the group.  We laugh, we loosen up and we get ourselves focused for the task ahead of us.

A few minutes go by and we all approach the starting line.  Suddenly the gun goes off and everyone takes off!  Within moments people are spread out, some going full bore, others pacing themselves. Inside every person's head is a full gamut of thoughts and emotions.  For me it is the evil voice in my head telling me I'm not good enough, for others it may be the fear of pushing the boundaries and still with others it could even be lack of preparation.  No matter what it is, everyone feels something.

As I continue to push through the discomfort, I start leaning back on prior experiences, I try hard to encourage myself.  It seems to be working, my head is up, my attitude is improving and the well-wishers are cheering.  Then I see the finish line.  The crowd is cheering, it seems so far away, but my anticipation is driving me forward...I give it one last surge and cross the line.  I'm exhausted. Drained. But I made it, I did it!

What I love about races is the process.  The training, the effort, the mental challenge and eventually the sense of completion.  At the end of the race I get the opportunity to wrap it up with a bow.  Everything is done and I feel a strong sense of accomplishment.  I see strange parallels with teaching.  If you went back and took the word race or running out and plugged in teaching I think you would see the similarities.  It's always nice to feel that sense of completion, the ability to wrap it up with a bow and say, "I'm done!"

As we put the bow on 2013 I look back at so many memories.

*  We experienced births
*  We experienced marriages
*  We experienced retirements
*  We experienced hirings
*  We experienced new positions
*  We experienced trips that would change us
*  We experienced true teamwork (painting)
*  We experienced accomplishments of our own children
*  We experienced facing our fears and coming out the other side better
*  We experienced the success of grants and presentations
*  We experienced personal struggles and came closer together

When I reflect on 2013 and wrap it up with a bow, I have fond memories.  I miss our retirees.  I'm delighted with our new faces.  I'm getting used to new last names and I always love seeing babies in the building.  What I will remember forever is the effort and teamwork people invested.  I look forward to 2014.  We will continue to focus on students.  We always put Kids First!  

Articles Worth Reading:

Best Part-Time Job For Teachers Period by +A.J. Juliani @ajjuliani

We Can't Control Everything, And That's Okay +Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp

Statistics and a call for change +Benjamin Gilpin @benjamingilpin

Lesson From Nelson Mandela's Life @edutopia by Elena Aguilar

Quiet and Submissive +George Couros @gcouros (Truly makes me think...)

Coolest Parents Ever? +George Couros shared by @gcouros

Videos Worth Watching:

2013 in Review (1 min)

Sure to lift you up! (5 min)

Misunderstood! (1 min)  Must see : )

True Teamwork! Overcoming the negative voice to accomplish great things! (Which voice are you?)
(5 min)

Little Drummer Boy...beautiful! (4 min)

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