Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Out with the Old in with the New (and Vaguely Familiar)

I’ve been writing entries for my blog…I just haven’t posted them.  Why?  Pick a reason; too busy to proofread, the holidays are here and I worked myself into a haze of butterball cookies and cheesecake, writer insecurities…really the list is endless.  However here I am itching to write something, or plan something for my students and I remembered; I can do both.  I have the same survey I pass out each year to my student, and this year will be no different. 
But why Shannon?  Why write down resolutions when you know most are broken anyway.  And really what does it accomplish?  Simply put, it’s good to have goals.  It’s good to reflect on your life.  And why not do that during the time of year when everything is changing?  So without further ado…

Name: Mom, Shannon, Mrs. McLoud, Miss Shannon
Favorite Food:  Chocolate…this never changes!
Age:  36 (normally I don’t answer this, but the kids figured it out this year!)
Favorite activity: Reading/writing
Favorite color: Pink!
Favorite book:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird…it changes with my mood.  This is not a fair question! 

Highlights of 2015

Greatest Lesson Learned:
Hmmm…to take a page from Elsa and “Let it Go”.  I have not achieved this, I do from time to time obsess over things.  This year I have learned that when I do let things go, I am happier, and my stress goes way down.  Less stress is a good thing! 

Hardest Thing This Year:
Finding the balance between work and life!  I haven’t achieved this entirely, however I have been doing more work at school, which gives me more time at home to enjoy my family. 

Favorite Memory:
I feel that it’s the same memory every year, but once again yes, the family trip to Disney makes the list!  This year we went for twelve days.  Twelve days in the family bubble, and the icing on the cake was time spent with Dave’s cousin and his family.  The guys didn’t grow up together since they live so far away from one another but you wouldn’t know that when we get together!  It was one of those moments that illustrate the importance of family.  I had a ton of those moments this year, but the Disney trip really illustrated that.

What I Loved About 2015:
Looking back, 2015 was a pretty great year.  There was a lot to love!  Some highlights…
Getting my own classroom!  Last school year I traveled rooms each period, and I found out in August this year that I would have my own classroom!  I was able to decorate it in my geeky glory, and it validated me as an educator.  I FEEL like part of the faculty this year, not just the nomad teacher!

I co-wrote a play that was part of the Providence Fringe Fest-that was an amazing feeling!  And I started writing for a newspaper writing about something I love-theatre.

I also staged a play in the most unlikely of places-a local bookstore.  I was in geek heaven!

Looking Forward to 2016!

Want to Learn:
I always want to learn more effective ways of teaching.  At this point it’s a given, but I feel that I should write it down each year as a constant reminder that I’m not done yet! 

How to have a life while enjoying my career.  I don’t think I realized what a hermit type life I live during the school year, until this week.  I don’t make the time to hang out with friends, or sit and write, or sometimes do laundry.

And yes, cooking is still on the docket.  When my child is frightened when he sees me go to the kitchen, it’s time to learn how to cook!

Want to Get Better At:                                      
Time management and organization.  Every year I think about this, and every year I am optimistic that it will happen.  This year, I’ll be a realist.  I would like to get better at organizing a corner of my life, not my entire life.  And I would like to get better at time management when grades are due!  Baby steps!

Goals for 2016:
Before I make goals, I have to look at last year’s goals.  Did I make them?  After this year’s production of Carol’s Christmas, I can certainly say, with confidence that RTC is growing.  Watching an audience enjoy something that literally takes a village to build, is amazing.  I’m really proud of it.  But there is still much work to be done!

I did NOT run my third 5K.

I did NOT publish my novel.  (Although I did have my students participate in NANOWRIMO so that was amazing!)

So my new goals? 
Certainly to continue making theatre.  It’s time consuming, and stressful at times…but I can’t picture my life without it!

To run a 5K.  I enjoy running.  It helps me think, and obviously it helps me fit into my clothes.  And I haven’t done any running in about six months.  There aren’t any excuses there except that I’m not making the time for it.  And I know you can’t just jump up and run a 5K…so I need to get my butt in gear and return to running!

Publish my novel.  It would be really nice not to see this under my goals next year.  I’m not looking for an agent, in fact I really feel that self-publishing (similar to my plays) is the way to go.  So what am I waiting for?  (Besides a good editor!)  So this is it.  I am going to publish my novel this year.  If it’s in writing it will happen right?  Otherwise I’m going to have to have this picture follow me around.

I can’t just start 2016 with the same goals from last year however, so let’s add to these shall we?

Professionally:  I would like to begin next school year OWNING my position. 

Academically:  I finished my MA in 2015, so you would think academics would no longer be a goal.  However, I wouldn’t mind looking into my NCTE Certification.  And begin to pay off my loans!

Personally:  These are staying the same…run, write, create!

So there you have it….2015.  You were a good year!  Looking forward to 2016 with hope and optimism!

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