Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Choose Beneficial

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Two years ago I embarked on a weight loss journey and within six months I lost 45 pounds, gaining back my energy and youth. After watching the number on the scale steadily increase year after year,  I was beyond exhilarated when I finally found a plan that helped me win the battle of the bulge. The plan required me to eat my choice of shakes, bars or other prepackaged meals five times per day and a lean and green meal I usually prepared at home. The program promised that if I followed the plan with fidelity, the weight would come off quickly and safely. Day after day, I checked off my daily food and water requirements and sure enough within a few months, I was at my goal weight and had accomplished what I had unsuccessfully tried for many years. It was certainly difficult at times, but attaining a goal that I had pretty much given up on fueled my determination and strengthened my resolve.

But once I embarked on the maintenance journey, I had to develop a sustainable plan that would fit into my family's lifestyle. While the weight loss plan promised quick results, it also discouraged vigorous exercise because it was a very low-calorie plan. I was now able to eat anything, but not everything was beneficial - that is if I wanted to keep the weight off.  Without an exercise plan, once I expanded my menu, so did my waistline. I quickly realized that I had to get serious about my fitness and nutritional choices.

Education, just like health and wellness, is all about choices. There are lots we can add to our plate that while may be good and acceptable, may not actually be effective. From differentiation strategies to technology tools, just because we can, doesn't mean we should. Just because it's available and meets criteria on the list doesn't mean it's beneficial.

Last December as I began pondering on my "word" for 2019, the verse pictured above kept coming to mind. I often quote it when I'm trying to steer my family and friends away from poor choices (especially dietary), but it's my go-to verse for keeping myself on track. While the verse may have been written to address the spiritual issues of the day, this verse applies to choices I make in every area of my life - personal, professional, relational, nutritional as well as spiritual.

For 2019, I want to step up my game and not just get by checking off the boxes on my list. I want to rewrite the list. I want to make sure that what I do is truly beneficial, even if that may or may not have immediate, measurable results. In fact, we all know that change doesn't always produce instantaneous results, but that shouldn't stop us from challenging the status quo and pursuing that which is most beneficial in the long run.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Rest of My Blog

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As 2018 draws to a close and I move forward to 2019, one of my goals for the coming year is to restart my blogging practice. This is something I enjoyed and greatly benefited from for a few years, but had recently walked away from. It wasn't intentional, but as I moved into a new role and was no longer in the classroom, I didn't feel compelled to write.

I recently completed a digital learning course in "Leadership in Digital Learning" as I work to renew my teaching license this year and digital learning credits are now required in North Carolina. I've learned some new things during the course, not only about digital learning tools but also about myself and my professional practice. And it was the reflection component that reignited my interest in blogging. 

While I'm naturally very reflective, I learned in this course that reflection is not limited to my own perceptions, but must involve feedback from students and/or colleagues. Even though I'm no longer a classroom teacher, I'm still impacting students as everything that happens at school is about them. And although gathering feedback is scary, it's a risk worth taking so we can get a more complete picture of what went well and what needs to be done differently.

I also realized was how much I miss blogging.  So, I'm rebooting my blogging practice and launching my new blog. My original blog, ESL Musings is still up and linked to this blog, but I'm starting anew. As always, blogging is first and foremost for me. It's part therapy, part hobby, but 100% beneficial (and almost as enjoyable as a manicure).   

Blogging helps me to reflect, celebrate and curate. I will tweet and share my posts in the hopes that it will be a resource for my colleagues and all the educators I connect with.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life...and it is the first post of the rest of my blog!

May 2019 be our #BestYearEver!