Sunday, December 6, 2015

Reflecting on 2015

DIY chalkboard

For our Compelled Bloggers Community post this week, we are reflecting on the year. 

Can you believe there are only 19 days until Christmas?!? (The picture above is a chalkboard that hangs in my home.) 

As I get older, the time seems to go faster, and this year was no exception. It seems like just yesterday I was writing my 3words for 2015, and here we are with only 25 days left in the entire year!

Rhythm, Bravery, and Fitness were my guideposts for 2015, and I truly think it’s been a terrific year full of opportunities and events that have created wonderful memories.  When I chose Rhythm as one of my words, it was about accepting time limits, constraints, efficiency, and “down time.” While I still haven’t gotten my book written, I did have the opportunity to be a keynote speaker at the AlabamaSchool Public Relations Association fall meeting this year. I also presented at AETC, ISTE, and most recently for the Global Ed Conference. I also produced a step-by-step guide for people who want to tell their school’s story on twitter, and I’ve done some Google Hangouts with some schools to assist them on getting their faculty started on twitter.

While my professional life is busy, my personal life is full, too. My year included family vacations, moving my oldest daughter to college, DIY and home improvement projects, and adding a new puppy to the family. Fitness was one of my three words for 2015 and thanks to the accountability that my #500in2015 friends & my Nike running app gives me, I’ve run or walked 668 miles so far this year. One of my favorite things to do is the 21-day health & fitness challenge I host on Facebook.  I’ve been doing it for several times a year for several years, and the feedback from people about the healthy changes they make in their lives as a result is awesome. I will definitely be hosting more 21-day challenges in the future! Staying healthy is a personal philosophy, because just like they tell you on the plane, Put your oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on anyone else.

Bravery as my third word was a reminder for me to take risks. I’ve taken some risks and led some innovative PD for our staff, including a day of Google Hangouts with educators from all over the country, teacher-led summer PD of choice with an app for teachers to keep up with the schedule, the highly popular Twitter Bingo game, online PD activities that I put together that our teachers raved about, to the most recent Creation Lab. Stepping out of our comfort zone is something we need to do regularly to remind us of what we are asking of our students. I have a couple of projects “in the works” currently (that are requiring MUCH bravery from me!), which I hope to share more information about soon.

Through all of the year, the biggest factor in any success that I’ve had has been my network of family, friends, and colleagues both in-person and online.  From the Compelled Bloggers Community to the #ALedchat team to the Women in Education Leadership Voxer group to individuals who seem to provide just the right push, pull, boost, or question that is needed at a specific time, my love for learning has only grown throughout the year. I've made many connections this year and they have all contributed to greatly enriching my life personally and professionally. 

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life in 2015. I’m looking forward to 2016 and what’s to come!


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  2. Jennifer,
    Thanks for sharing. Yes, the year has gone by quickly! You certainly have been a driving force for excellence both in your school and also for all those you have impacted (like me) through Twitter and Blogging. It's been a good year and I'm sure next year will have great things in store too!

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  4. Great to hear a reflection of your year, and as you mention, the relationships are so important for all of the other parts! Have a great holiday and looking forward to more writing in 2016!

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