Category Archives: Teachers Write

End of Year Reflection

I’m trying very hard to finish this year on a positive note. I don’t want to leave for the summer feeling sour and negative. However, when at every turn it feels as if doors get closed faster than they’re opened, it’s not easy.

Teaching shouldn’t be so hard. Teachers should be supported in their work and administrators need to be the ones to do that. I am feeling disheartened despite repeated attempts to brave the storms. I have even considered quitting my present job in order to gain some perspective on my professional and personal life.

But something is holding me back.

Is it pride in my past accomplishments? Possibly, but it’s not the determining factor. Is it that I don’t want to let down my ESL students, most of whom will be with me next year? Very likely. Is it the thought that this year has been an anomaly and the hope that next year has to be better and so let’s give it another shot? Possibly.

What is certain is that I will be doing a lot of soul searching this summer about how I’m going to approach the coming school year. Nothing new here. I do this every year just like most teachers I know. However, as I look ahead to my vacation, it’s starting to feel small and crowded: too many projects lined up and not enough time and space in which to do them. But, that view is from today’s hectic end-of-year perspective. Once I wake up Thursday morning and realize I am finally on vacation, I will be able to take a deep breath and start the necessary work that will get me ready for the coming school year. Some of this “work” will be “play” for myself and my family, and some will be professional reading and planning that teachers do every summer. One project I will be involved in is Teachers Write, which starts tomorrow, June 24th. Come join us.

And, I’m off and running.

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Filed under reflection, summer, support, Teachers Write

Reflections on the past year

Almost a year ago we relocated to Quito, Ecuador

after having spent six years living in Calgary, Alberta.

Image from: http://bit.ly/19cIuyP

Those six years in Calgary were wonderful; both my husband and I had amazing jobs and we made some good friends while we were there. I could write an entire blog post about the great things going on at the Calgary Board of Education and how that quickly changed about three years ago to look more and more like what’s happening in the U.S.

The first year we were in Calgary, after having lived 10 years in Quito, were undeniably challenging and surprisingly so. There were so many adjustments to make – the weather, the culture, the educational system, just to name a few. Yet, we faced them all with such aplomb that at one point late into those six years I even considered just staying on for the long haul. However, family and friends here called out to us and we realized that we needed to return to our home base.

The move back to Quito was no less dramatic and fraught with its own challenges. My job situation was less than ideal as my job description changed radically just a couple of months before our move. And, although I tried to be optimistic, I was definitely disappointed. That disappointment followed me throughout the year as the school struggled to accommodate to my son’s strengths and needs, and I struggled with a school that, although known to me, seemed to be focusing on the wrong things. Now, at the end of the school year, I can safely say we are on the other side of all those seemingly heart wrenching decisions (we moved my son to another school mid-year) and we are settling in to living here.

The coming school year will bring other challenges, no doubt, but I anticipate a sense of renewal as the summer approaches. Although the next few months promise to be very busy (I need to finish revisions to my research proposal for my EdD), I will also make time to spend with my family and to recharge my batteries, so to speak. I plan to do lots of pleasure and professional reading as well as participate in Teachers Write and do some planning for my classes next year. I’m also exploring some other possibilities that I will write about later if they come to fruition. In the meantime, I am staying positive by following the adaptation of the Serenity Prayer that was recently posted on the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living:

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.”

So how’s your year been? What are you planning to do this summer to recharge your batteries? Post a comment below to share.

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Filed under Calgary, Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living, challenges, Quito, reflections, serenity prayer, Teachers Write