Friday, June 29, 2012

Being a team player

As many teachers do at this time of the year, I am sitting here reflecting on the school year that has just come to a end. This one has been a challenging one for for me, but I have learned many lessons that I will take into my next years of teaching and help me grow even more as a teacher. Every year my class teaches me something different, this year it was how to be more patient, flexible and how to let things go.

My friend Kristy put it best the other day "what a unique job I have... take this little crew up kids in the fall and teach them and create a little 'grade one family' with them and fall in love with them and then have to say good-bye. Today is always a day of such mixed emotions!!!!".

While I teach Kinder and not grade 1, the message is the same. Take this group of  4 and 5 year olds, teach them how to be independent,  love school, print, read, count and the many other 100's of skills we work on during a year and then let them go 10 months later. How can I not feel a void when the year is done?

The one thing that has allowed me to get through the past 10 months is the amazing team that I work on. They are not only my colleagues, they are my friends. There to pick me up when I need it and celebrate the success with! In my years of teaching, I have been at a dozen schools and I will tell you that the staff I am on now is special! The tears that flowed as we said our good-byes yesterday were genuine and the words spoken came from the heart. As the people leaving stood up to speak, the words that kept being repeated over and over again were "I work with a great team of people". I don't feel like I go to work everyday, I go and spend time with great people - students, admin, parents and staff. Our principal Antonio Vendramin wrote it best last week in his blog It takes a village I am so proud to be a member of that village!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

1 step forward...3 HUGE steps back!

When I first started this blog 8 weeks ago, I was 4 weeks into a 12 week training for a 5km. If you can do the math...that means that this should have been the weekend that I completed my goal....but its not, and I am OK with that (sort of). Let me explain...

In many ways I am OK with not completing my goal, because the reason was out of my control. I have asthma and the past 4 weeks have been awful for me! 4 weeks ago, even though I wasn't feeling well, I went out and trained and 5 hours later I was in the ER getting a Ventolin mask because I was so wheezy. Me, being me, I took 1 day off of training and went right back to it (Marc and Chris insisted that I slow down a bit) and 10 days after that I was back in the ER, this time what what doctors thought was pneumonia. Another Ventolin mask, a steroid shot and 5 days of antibiotics and steroids later and I still wasn't feeling 100%. Again, me being me, I took 1 day off work and 2 days off working out and was right back at it. 10 days later and I think I can maybe handle a full workout this week.

I would not be OK with not completing my goal this weekend if the reason wasn't medical. In the past I have used my asthma as an excuse for not pushing myself. This goal came from me and I WILL make it! I am going to prove to myself once and for all that I can do it! That being said, I also do need to listen to my body and give it the rest it so desperately needed so that I can push it again.

I took this week off of running to give my body 1 more week to fully recover and Sunday I will be back at the track :) Truth be told, I have actually missed running the past 4 weeks. And that is something that I never thought I would say and the reason I know that I WILL complete this goal!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The path you take...

This week has been a very busy one both professionally and personally!! We had an amazing pro-d on reference and regulate with  David Loyst and I was fortunate to attend the district's debrief day on the Innovative Learning Designs project for year 1. While I learned a lot at both of these events, it was my weekend activities that really got me thinking. wasn't the insane workout that Chris created for us this weekend at Peak Fitness, although I am still looking for volunteers to come with me for a free week this week!

On top of everything else we as teachers do in June, I have volunteered to work an extra 2 weekend days at my other job at Cartwheels Gymnastics. Why do I do this to myself every year in the second craziest month of the year (I still think September is crazier than June)? It's simple....I love seeing kids happy! It's why I teach, it's why I coach and it's why I spend 2 Sundays in June every year working at the year end recital for Cartwheels.

Today was extra was the 10th annual year end show for the Richmond location. While I haven't worked there the whole 10 years, I have worked with the owners for the better part of my life. Katherine and Lisa have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have come full circle with Lisa - she coached me and later in life, I coached her daughter Gina. Katherine and I have worked together on and off since I was 12 years old! I still remember Katherine calling me and telling me that she was leaving Phoenix Gymnastics to open Cartwheels.

These 2 women are part of the reason I became a teacher. They encouraged me when I was younger to achieve ALL my goals and as I got older saw something in me that they believed would make me a good coach. It was through coaching that I began to realize what I wanted to be when I grew up....a teacher!

This got me thinking about my path in life...what if I hadn't done gymnastics as a child? What is I hadn't injured myself at age 12? What if I wasn't lucky enough to be mentored by amazing women and pushed into coaching when I couldn't go back to training? Would I have still ended up as a teacher? I believe I wouldn't be teaching if it had not been for the wonderful coaches that came into my life.I am not sure where I would be, but I am pretty sure I wouldn't be in the classroom.

When I looked around the arena, I was very proud to see many of the gymnasts who I coached (way back when) either still in the sport or coaching. To me, that means that I have done my job as a coach. I hope that in some way I have inspired these young athletes to pursue whatever it is they wish to become in their life. One day I hope that my athletes and students will be able to inspire someone else to achieve their potential.

I leave you with this...who has inspired you to follow your dreams?