Well, my dear friends, 2016 has just about come to an end. As such, I wanted to take a few moments and share some of my reflections from this year. This was largely inspired by my experience with my first #PassTheScopeEDU on Periscope. You can check that out here. I am very thankful to the amazing Valerie Lewis for inviting me to be a part of that and also teaching me the ins and outs of Periscope. As you will see, I need some practice, but I am stretching every day and trying to learn some new things.
When I reflected about the most important thing that I have learned this year, it all came down to community. My position as an Instructional Technology Coach can be a lonely place. Although I am a teacher, teachers are wary of me as it is difficult to figure out if I am a teacher, an administrator, a representative of the county, etc. This semester, I have been fortunate to build some amazing relationships with some fabulous people, but I have been really lacking in a true community.
I have been fortunate to find a few real friendships, one of whom is Kenya Ransey. This amazing woman builds me up and encourages me. We talk about books and ideas. She challenges me on a regular basis, and I am grateful. My prayer for all of you is that you find some really amazing colleagues that will do the same for you. Through Kenya, I found EduMatch, an organization begun by Sarah Thomas. These amazing teachers are worldwide and are so edifying. They are all about building community, and I truly consider them to be my amazing PLN (Professional Learning Network).
I have been off the radar for most of the past week due to illness. I went to the hospital last Saturday with a sinus infection but also stabbing pains in my head and left arm. Terrifying, right? The ER doctor told me offhandedly that it could be TIA (mini strokes). Given that I am 36 and have 5 children (including 2 very small ones), this was obviously overwhelming. I am thankful for some updates yesterday that it is definitely NOT TIA and a doctor who seems to know what he is doing.
Being sick and facing a potentially terrifying illness made me stop and take a look at some things in my life over the past week. I quit my online teaching position because it was not building me up. I decided to let go of some things that were weighing me down with my extended family. And I wrote this blog.
As we finish 2016, I encourage you to take some time to really reflect upon what this year has meant to you, what you have learned, what has been a struggle, and how you can go forward next year into a positive place.
Happy teaching with tech, my friends. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a wonderful New Year.
2 responses to “#Reflect16”
Leah..we need you to be healthy and stick around for a long time. Your family needs you and we will be here with you every step of the way on this journey. You should be proud of your courage because many aren’t even taking the measures you are. Keep going and we cannot wait to see your reflection in 2017!
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Valerie, thank you so much for your support. I appreciate you and your encouragement so very much!