The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

One Little Word

I don’t normally make a big deal about the New Year because, for me, the year starts in August when school starts. January 1 is just another cold day in a typically cold month that, other than including the birthdays of some of the most amazing people in history, isn’t all that spectacular. However, Monday is the start of the new semester, and I can embrace making changes based on that.
My friend Aubrey has challenged her friends to pick one little word to be there focus for the coming year. I’ve been thinking about this today as I have been finishing up artifacts and reflections for my internship and realised that that is going to be my one little word: focus. I have a habit of stretching myself thin, of running from thing to thing, of wanting to do everything at once, and of, unfortunately, starting things and not always finishing them. So this year I am going to focus on being more focused.
There are some things I am deeply committed to that I won’t be dropping from my life, even if they do keep my busy. Some of them, like volunteering with the Boy Scouts, Operation Snowball, and the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute, are because they have been a part of me for well over half my lifetime. Others, such as graduate school, are long-term endeavours that need to be completed. But these are things that I want to do well, and focus will help me do that.
In my classroom, there is definitely a need for me to be more focused. I feel like I have let myself take on too many things at once. Too many online learning tools, too many new ideas, too many changes in what I teach and how I teach. So I am going to be focusing on the things that work best to accomplish what matters most: my students all learning. I’ve already started some  of these changes. During our teacher record day, I took time to make small changes to my daily schedule that will improve how I do guided math and literacy groups. I began organising my classroom and will be going in either Friday or Saturday to finish.
I am also recommitting myself, again, to being more diligent in my blogging, not because I crave the attention from others, but because it helps me focus on what it going well in my classroom. I have used this platform for the past five years or so to reflect and to focus. I need to do that more, even if my posts are very brief.
I won’t call it a New Year’s resolution because, like I said, for me, this is the middle of the year. But it is my goal for the second semester. It is my one little word. What is yours?

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