Three favourite things from this year (because one is not enough!):

1) The first week of my contract back in October when for the first time I had the thought “Ohhhh I DO know what I’m doing!” Somewhere between the crazy planning over Thanksgiving weekend and the end of the first week with my students I had that realization that I would make it through and it was a great feeling!
2) Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and making new professional connections and friends. I am shy – very shy sometimes… So every conversation and connection I’ve made this year has made me so proud!
3) Finding that balance between teacher and friend with my students and building relationships with each and every one of my incredible students. I’m going to miss them so much – I am so thankful for the best first class ever!

Worst moment from this year:

I’m going to combine a whole bunch of moments into one for this… The STRESS of not knowing if I’ll be working or not! Holy was that a steep learning curve for this girl! It took a lot of deep breathing, running and distractions to learn to be okay with the on-call thing. The first few months had me feeling as if I was pitted against my friends for my paychecks. I remember Karley and I both saying sorry over similar matters (i.e. “Sorry I went to YOUR school to hand out my cards”) and we both ended up laughing about it. In the long run, we get enough work and days off should feel sacred because come May and June I don’t think I had a second to breathe between all my shifts!

A mantra I continually used this year:

You are a teacher. You are meant to be here. There were so many times this year where I felt unsure of what I was doing or way too young to be a teacher (I could fill a whole blog with this “too young” perception I have of myself) . It took me a while to find my voice in conversations with other staff and to make decisions about what I thought was important or not in regards to my teaching and students. Reminding myself that there is a reason I am where I am was so helpful. I know I am a teacher in my heart and soul – it just takes a little reminder here and there 🙂

Something I wish I’d known last year at this time:

Man, Karley’s tip is pretty much right on the nose for me as well… I’ll add something else though! Please keep in mind that this time last year I was in a really bad place (think anxiety, unstable home environment, loss of a few people close to me, and just overwhelmed in general).

If I could go back and tell myself anything it would be that I will be genuinely happy at this time next year. That all of the hard times will help me to grow stronger and become more of who I am. And I would remind myself that it all happens for a reason because I truly believe it does even though we can’t always see the reasons until later on.

I cannot believe it has already been a year since we graduated!
I cannot believe it has already been a year since we graduated!

Going into my second year I plan to do _____ differently.

One word – assessment! I am still learning so much about assessment: what works, what doesn’t, how to organize everything, and on and on and on… I will take any and all tips and tricks you can send this way but I need to be more efficient and organized.

What I’m going to do during my first official summer as a teacher:

I will be doing a French course in July, running a leadership course for the first two weeks of August, and then taking some time off to enjoy my lovely new neighbourhood! Also starting my half-marathon training this week and playing some softball and volleyball. And my book list has grown unbelievably long this year so I have a good chunk of reading to do – stay tuned for the book reviews!

Plus I got a lovely bookstore gift card today... Uh oh!
Plus I got a lovely bookstore gift card today… Uh oh!

Meaghan