One of my goals last year – and one of my constant struggles since I was a teenager – was to find more balance between teaching, me time, family time, and friend time. Leaving my full-time teaching job in the fall in exchange for teaching online classes in anticipation of our move has given me time to reflect and slowly achieve that balance. The past several months have consisted or working online a few hours a day, spending time with family and friends, spending more quality time with Kyle, blogging, and adjusting to a new lifestyle with less anxiety and stress. Because I have more time for each of the different areas of my life, I feel like I’m a better wife and daughter and friend. For the past several years, I’d felt like a hard-working, committed, passionate teacher, but I wasn’t hard-working, committed, or passionate regarding anything else. Now that I’ve struck more of a balance and I feel happier and more fulfilled in various sectors of my life, I’m looking forward into 2013.
Explore New Teaching Resources & Strategies:
I’m starting a new semester of online classes and will be developing them as we go. I’m very excited about the curriculum I’ve developed and am excited to begin curating the content for my classes. My first semester – and first experience – with teaching online was incredibly challenging and frustrating. In addition to teaching well and facilitating learning in my students, which is hard enough, I had to deal with the new and infuriating challenges of constant technical difficulties. There were points where the technology was hindering learning, and there’s only so much I can do from behind my computer to remedy those problems and motivate my students to push through. I’m hoping that the worst of it is behind me and that this semester will run more smoothly with fewer student and teacher frustrations.
Write More (About Teaching and Literature and Art and Current Events):
I started this blog because I needed a space for me, outside of being a teacher. I needed a place for indulgences and fun and frivolity. A stress-free zone. Reading other women’s blogs and learning more about fashion, food, self-acceptance, and crafting has been inspiring and enjoyable. Moving into 2013, I plan to work more on the teaching side of my blog. I have a renewed passion and desire to learn moving into the new year, and I want to explore resources, get new ideas, and continue to hone my teaching to best help my students to learn and appreciate the arts.
Read More (About Everything):
I want to start reading more. I read a lot of blogs, and magazines, and listen to NPR, and read NPR news articles, and skim through cookbooks, but I want to start really reading more. Since I started teaching, I’ve read several novels: the ones my students are reading. And I re-read them every year before and as my students are reading them. And I love The Crucible, and A Long Way Gone, and The Great Gatsby, and so on, but I need some fresh meat to sink my teeth into. My first goal is to finish Roberto Bolano’s 2666¸a book I’ve been reading for months and months in spurts, by the end of January. And to keep myself honest, I’m going to write a post following each book I complete where I reflect on what I’ve taken away and possible classroom applications.
Here are a few of the titles on my shelf that I want to tackle this year: