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My 2017 Wrap-Up: Expect the Unexpected

As 2017 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the amazing and life-changing year that has occurred.  2017 marked my first full year of being on Twitter, blogging, and interacting with educators all over the world.  It is the year where I presented at my first conferences and summits and became a Google Trainer and Innovator.  It is the year where I developed my blog and wrote on a weekly basis.

It was a year of…so many unexpected adventures and opportunities.  I truly feel blessed to have had the experiences I have had in 2017 and I am excited to share some of these experiences with you.onal

2017: My Goals

At the beginning of the year, I set five goals for 2017:

Goal #1: Blog Once a Week

Personally, I find my biggest accomplishment to be blogging once a week for the entire year.  It was a great challenge but it really encouraged me to create more lessons/projects, find and share resources, and be self-reflective.  I will admit that it could often be a challenge but I felt like I grew so as an educator from this experience.  It’s also a goal that I plan to keep for many years to come!

Goal #2: Increase Math Literacy

While I feel like I made great strides towards this goal, I think that it will always be something I need to improve upon in my Math classroom.  Although my Math students are Honors students, they still struggle when it comes to decoding problems and understanding the language in Math.  However, I do feel like I was more aware of this need and implemented more activities to support them in this area, such as using Frayer models, implementing performance tasks, and using AVID tutorials.

Goal #3: Create an Inquiry-Based and Organized Genius Hour Project

Currently, my Spartan Tech Squad students spend every Friday working on their 20Time projects.  I am really excited to see how these projects are developing.  I feel like the projects are more attainable and organized this year after I developed a series of activities and lessons to help students organize and plan for their 20Time Projects.  Learn more from my post “Getting Going with 20Time Projects“.

Goal #4: Collaborate with Classes Across the Country/World

Unfortunately, this is one goal that I did not meet this year.  I have an idea/dream to have one of my classes collaborate with another classroom beyond our own district.  While I did not reach this goal this year, I do feel like I established a lot of strong relationships with teachers all over the world to support this goal in the upcoming year.

Goal #5: Develop a PLN Beyond the Borders of My School

Last, but certainly not least, I developed a Professional Learning Network (PLN) of educators beyond my school and district.  As much as blogging was my biggest accomplishment, I feel like this goal was the most important.  Teaching is an amazing profession but it can also be very lonely.  Over the last couple of years, I have found myself feeling a bit more like an outsider in some areas of my professional life…until I found my PLN.  I have a handful of educators all over the world that I talk to on a daily/weekly basis and they are amazing, inspirational, and supportive.  Every day I am so thankful to have these people in my life.

2017: My Highlights

Here are just a few of my highlights from this year:

  • Blogging on a weekly basis.
  • Presenting at my first conferences and summits.
  • Becoming a Google Trainer and Innovator.
  • Developing BoostEDU – my Google Innovator Project.
  • Developing a PLN and connecting with educators all over the world.

While there is so much more to share, I want to keep it short and sweet.  These were the things that I will remember for years to come and had a great impact on where I am as a person and as an educator.

2017: My Top Posts

Throughout the year, I wrote over 52 blog posts.  The top posts were:

My Big Takeaway….

As I look back on all of the things that have occurred in this year, there is one phrase that comes to my mind:

Expect the unexpected.

I would never have thought that I would be where I am at today or have had the experiences that I have had in the last year.  It’s completely transformed who I am as a person and as an educator.

More importantly, it has brought something to my mind that I never thought I would say:

I have no idea what I want to do or where I will be in the next five years.

As someone who is quite the planner, this can be a terrifying statement.  It’s not that I don’t plan on being in education – I love education.  I truly believe I could never leave the field of education because I am so deeply invested in it.  It’s not even that I don’t have goals because I do.  There are many things that I want to accomplish, as small blogging weekly to releasing my Innovator Project.  Instead, it’s that I don’t know where life will take me or where my path might go in my educational career.  All I know is that I love what I do and I know that I am in the right career.

In fact, there is something absolutely exciting and exhilarating in not knowing where your path will take you and being completely open to any opportunities or adventures that might be presented.  As strange as it sounds, I feel truly content in doing what I love and seeing where life will take me.

Keep a look out for my upcoming post on my 2018 Educational Goals – and, as always, thank you for reading. 🙂

4 thoughts on “My 2017 Wrap-Up: Expect the Unexpected

  1. Wow – I love your takeaway and how it speaks to your confidence and contentment that you can say that you don’t know where you will be in the next few years but you are still excited for it! Would you have said that a year ago ;-)?

    Thank you for always pushing me to be a better educator and person – I’m firmly convinced that my weekly blogging (at least the second half of this year) was largely due to hearing you talk about your goal and being inspired to do the same!

    1. Totally agree, Aubrey! And more than ever, the “expect the unexpected” has been true even in the first five days of 2018. 🙂

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