Friday, January 3, 2014

Reflections on 2013

2013 was a year of big changes and accomplishments for me professionally. I was so excited to present not only at my state foreign language conference, but at AATSP, ACTFL, and a presentation at the University of Colorado as well. I was also humbled to be asked to contribute to the great book, Flipping 2.0, with some of the best flipped classroom teachers in the country. I was elected to the CCFLT board (the state foreign language board in Colorado), and I sit in those meetings amazed by the great, motivated educators I have here in my own state. I am embarking on a new speaking job about the flipped classroom which I have been preparing for all fall and will officially begin in the spring. I have also co-founded (and try to co-moderate) the #fliplang chat on Twitter on the last Wednesday of each month at 8pm EST with Kristin Ponterelli.

I love presenting, but the best part of presenting at these conferences has been the fantastic people that I have met. It was a thrilling year full of meeting my online heroes, such as Laura Sexton, Garnet Hillman and Joe Dale. It was also fun to be recognized as "that girl with that blog" or "that flip girl". (Secretly it is kind of nice to be referred to as girl period!) I was able to meet so many people that I only had know previously through email, Twitter, and my blog.

In my classroom, I have seen students accomplish more than I ever thought possible. We finished last school year strong with some great choice projects done by all of my students thanks to the inspiration of Yo Azama. The beginning of this school year has been a little rocky, but with more tweaks to make the curriculum better fit with the student's abilities, I am confident that they will all continue to improve. This school year I have also been co-teaching the Student Council class with one of the most patient and collected teachers in our building. I am also still working as class sponsor, and although it is tons of work, the students all make it worthwhile.

I still love every day when I walk into my classroom. I love creating new projects, new assignments, and finding new activities to help my students achieve their goals and mine. I love the frustrations that come before the epiphanies, and am especially appreciative of all of the support from my PLN (which now is worldwide!) with my struggles and successes.

I was asked today how I am able to do everything I do, especially with four kids and a husband. My answer is just this- without the constant and continual support of my fantastic family, I wouldn't be able to accomplish anything. No matter what I need, whether a shoulder to cry on, a ticket to a conference, or someone to just give me that hug at the end of the day, my family is always there for me.

So, I say goodbye to 2013 and am looking forward to all of the challenges and successes coming in 2014. I thank you all for your support and wish all of you the happiest of New Years. I hope you all are as fortunate as I am in your career, PLN, and most importantly, family.