New Year Resolutions

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s been said that what you do on the first day of the new year will influence what you do the rest of the year.  Hmm…I will make sure I am not cooking or cleaning on January 1 if that’s the case!

IMG_0703Since most of us are still enjoying a few more days of vacation, it is a good time to look ahead to 2014.  It has always been difficult for me to think of a “year” as anything  other than a school year-which for me, runs August to June, then summer vacation, and then a new year begins.  I’ve never done anything other than be a student or a teacher.  January to January is tricky for me.  That being said, we have been in school nearly 4 months and the winter break gives us time to refresh, restore, and refocus.

Someone asked me a while back what I like to do.  It seemed like a simple question but I found I had a little trouble answering it.  Of course, spending time with my family and friends made the list, but when pressed further, “What lights you up?” I fell silent.  This troubled me.  Why couldn’t I name anything? It occurred to me that I liked the idea of writing but never pursued it because I didn’t see myself as a writer.  A friend gently encouraged me and this blog was born.  I found I could quickly tap passion when it involved my students and their learning with the iPads.

I recently bought a “big girl” camera and have started pursuing a long hidden interest in photography.  I’m a true beginner in this endeavor, but am loving going on photo walks and discovering life behind the lens of a camera.  (I started a new photo blog here.)  What I am learning is you don’t have to be a professional to make art.

What does all of this mean for you?  I encourage you to explore some unexplored interests.  Step out and try something new.  Incorporating iPads in to my classroom has completely transformed the way I teach.  I don’t just think outside the box, I live there! Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey.  They don’t need to, it’s not for them.

Let 2014 be the year you step out, take some risks.  Resolve to hone your craft.  Create a classroom where you would want to be a student. Ditch old teaching methods, PowerPoints, and worksheets.  Examine who you are and what you like. Pursue some of your interests and you will be a more passionate teacher because of it.

What lights you up?

Today we will do exciting new things.  Let’s get to it!

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2 thoughts on “New Year Resolutions

  1. Hi, thanks for your comments about the new year. I saw your blog and decided to join it because i have a 5 yr old grandson who is very bright and i think can be encouraged to do some artistic things with the ipad. He does have access to an ipad and i have one as well.
    I am not a teacher, but do a lot of workbook stuff with him. He is reading on a second grade level and can swallow up books at a rate of two – four a day.
    What can i do with him using the ipad?
    I have him every Thursday after school, for a few hours before i take him home for dinner. He is currently in kindergarten with a class size of thirty.
    Please give me a suggestion. Thanks.

    • Naomi,
      There are wonderful creation apps your grandson can use to enrich his learning. We like Explain Everything, Book Creator, iMovie, Popplet and Pic Collage. You can go into the archives of my blog, or search for these apps on the blog and see posts on how we used them in class. They are great apps for any subject and are definitely usable by a kindergarten student.
      Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

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