Three favourite things from this year (because one is not enough!): 1) Meeting/reconnecting/working with some amazing, intelligent, world changing educators.  I often think, “wow, I know good people”, and now that list has been extended! 2) Laughing with my students.  Kids are hilariously entertaining.  3) Gaining confidence in my teaching.  I’ve had quite the variety of teaching experiences this year. I feel I’ve grown a lot and come a LONG way from the person and teacher I was at this time last year.

Worst moment from this year: The sicknesses.  Six colds in six months, two of which were epic sinus colds that occurred in the month of June alone, and then morphed into pink eye.  My question, as I stared at myself in the mirror yesterday, was: Who gets pink eye when they’re 26 years old?!? Apparently first year teachers do.  Today was the the second last day of school, and my final day at my middle school.  Meaghan saved me and went in and taught my kids for me today (thank you, Meaghan!) while I ugly cried (three times) at home about the fact that I couldn’t say goodbye to my kids today.  I felt so bad, so guilty, so upset that I was not going to be at school for the last day.  Thankfully, I have some amazing colleagues who have got my back and made me feel much better about the situation.

A mantra I continually used this year: (inhale….exhale….smile….keep smiling….inhale….exhale….smile) That little routine basically sums up my year of Thursdays.  Thursdays were my inner city elementary school days.  Woah.  I learned a lot, but mostly I learned how effective that mantra is.  I believe students should never know how angry/frustrated you are, so this mind-yoga really helped me be calm in all kinds of behavioural situations.

Something I wish I’d known last year at this time: (Me talking to myself): You will work.  You are a good teacher and you will work every single day because you are good at what you do and you love your students.  *one beloved friend of mine in particular (you know who you are) tried to tell me this last summer.  I failed to believe her and must take this opportunity to publicly say, you were right! Thanks for believing in me.

Going into my second year I plan to do _____ differently. I am going to create more work-life balance for myself next year.  I am also going to research better ways to stay healthy during the school year because I don’t think my immune system can handle the barrage of sicknesses again next year!

What I’m going to do during my first official summer as a teacher: Go to school (to learn French) for five weeks.  Lay in the sweet, luscious Okanagan heat for two weeks.  Read an obnoxious amount of books.  Dig in my yard and harvest vegetables from my organic garden in late August.  Sleep. Run. Practice yoga. Cook.

My summer vision board from last year (I make one every summer).  I'll probably be putting my 2013 version together this weekend!
My summer vision board from last year (I make one every summer). I’ll probably be putting my 2013 version together this weekend!

Karley