This has been a year of milestones for me. Now, as I look at my “year” some of these are school year time, some are actual 2013 milestones, so if you aren’t confused by the time I’m done, you are certainly reading for comprehension! 😉
First, as I look at my activity on Twitter, never in my wildest dreams would I think I’ve done what I’ve done so far. I’ve passed 12,500 tweets (students who’ve found my account are impressed) and 1,500 followers. Now, is that what Twitter is all about? Of course not, because I’ve met a number of teachers who live in this part of Iowa because of my activity, teachers I’d probably see once or twice a year at best. Now, I can “see” them more often, and when I do manage to get out of the building for a conference or training, I know people! How awesome is that?
Second, along those same lines, I’ve expanded my Twitter chats to include #tlap (Teach Like Pirate), #IAEdchat, ArEdchat (why? why not??), and this summer plan on reconnected with #d5chat (Daily 5), #5thchat (5th grade specific), and #teachchat (general education). These have been some of the best professional development opportunities I’ve ever come across because they are like mini ed camps. While there is a guiding topic, much of what goes on is driven by what those who are chatting want and need. Best part, aside from the awesome connections made, is that these are free!
Third, this is the first time in 17 years I’ve ever been told I’d not have a job the following year. What??? Yup, I was told that even though I’d have 14 years in at the end of this school year, I’d fall below that “cut” line. Now, I saw this coming as early as last June when some of the plans started to bounce around, but it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. As we assessed where we were financially, emotionally, and jobwise, we found we weren’t too bad off, yet, it’s a scary feeling. I was told not too long afterwards that my job had been saved, but that feeling of safety is gone, and gone probably for good. I’ll have an online presence that I can activate whenever I may need, just in case.
Fourth, I have a daughter who now has the ability to drive herself to school if we’d allow her a school permit. She’s just received her grade for driver’s education, and is more vocal about wanting to drive, practicing as much as a possible. Talk about making someone feel old! How can this possibly be? She was 18 months old when we moved up here from Missouri and our other daughter wouldn’t be born for another year! Wow.
Finally, at the end of this month, I’ll have completed 17 years of teaching. As the year that my students were born because farther and farther away from any relavent date of my own, I’m awestruck at where I’ve been and how things have turned out. I’ve been lucky in more then one instance, and have had my share of good and bad charma. But at the end of the day, I do a job that I love, working with the best people in the world. How could I get any more lucky then that?
There will be more milestones coming: my daughter going to a school that I’m not teaching at for the first time ever, possibly my last time coaching, and the chance to meet more teachers whom I follow online. The best thing about all this: it makes for an exciting life, something I wouldn’t trade for the world!