Saturday, December 28, 2013

Things I Have Learned in 2013

Another year smarter.

Things I have learned:
1. Texts are legal documentation.
They are anything BUT personal. Your private texts are actually public domain. After an incident  where a text I sent to a parent was pointed out that without proper context, could be misconstrued; I decided to ban texting and facebook-ing from my professional career. Personal calls, personal chats, personal texts are all ways for people to feel way too familiar and open up beyond professional limits. I worked too darn hard to get here in the last few years and I'll not let a moment of personal texting be my downfall!

2. Do not underestimate a child because they have a communication disability.
One of my students has been reading this year, but had never before been given the tools to demonstrate that she could because she had difficulty both in saying and writing words. Now that she has the opportunity to show us, we can see her progress and rejoice in her triumphs. What other secrets could people with disabilities be hiding?? As I grow as a teacher, I will continue to find ways to let my students show what they know; to demonstrate all that they can do.

3. Ten-year-olds are all the same!  :)  I took my 10 year old to a group designed just for 10-11 year olds, and every other kid there was trying to use big words in hilarious ways, said embarrassing things that made their parents roll their eyes, and they rolled them right back at the adults! All the parents were exasperated in exactly the same way, and all the kids, even with their unique personalities and backgrounds, had something bubbling inside them that was decidedly 10 years old. This is also the year where the Christmas gifts get super expensive as they do not want as many toys but want every kind of electronic device. They have figured out the birds and bees for the most part, too. They know how the world works just enough to start asking the 'really big' questions.We decided to give the boy his own room. It is time.

4. I really miss creative writing.
With my college classes this year, 2 in the beginning, 1 in summer, and 1 this fall, my writing has all been academic. I have 2 friends who have asked me to edit/beta-read their super long manuscripts. It makes me want to write my own. I have had to shelve all my endeavors and theirs in lieu of classes, though. I wrote the occasional ficly, but had I not had many websites related to writing bookmarked, I'd have forgotten many of them by now.

5. Hummus is good.
Roasted Red Pepper hummus on pita chips is my new snack love! It is much healthier than say, a chocolate covered granola bar. It is low in calories and filling. I also have learned to enjoy soup more; the light kind. I have been learning how to eat healthier. I don't think you ever stop learning how to be healthier. There is always new information.

6. I'm a giver.
I think about giving all the time. I wrote a lot about being a giver here on this blog over the years. I feel really crummy when I can't give. I desire to give and give, be busy and active, and that often means giving to others, even if it is just my time. I need to be selfish sometimes, too.  I had some really bad times from 2008 to 2010, and was in a really dark place when I was unemployed. There was loss, struggle, depression, anguish, days where I never knew where help would come from or how we would make it through. But we did.  I learned about myself. I am a mother first, a writer, and lastly a teacher. Teaching is a way of giving, too. That place I dreamed of back in 2009, I am here, now. This is the happiest and most stressful I've ever been. With great power comes great responsibility, right? Well, with great happiness comes great stress. You have to overcome to appreciate what you just did. Now that I have it, I need to remember what I was going to do with it.

7. Editing is good. Editing blog posts is good. Editing your life, trimming the excess fat so to speak, is good. Taking a step back to re-evaluate your life and make sure that it is really what is best for you is good. Editing includes organizing. When life feels cluttered, you need to stop and take time to de-clutter. Whether it be your closets, your career, your garden, or your email inbox, pruning the excess will help you breathe easier.

On that note, I will stop here and bring you my year in pictures in a future post. :)

I learned two new words! Hirsute, and comorbidity. Look them up!

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