Friday, January 3, 2020
A Life Update
It's been a long time since I have published a blog. In fact, it's been so long that I changed jobs, worked for four years in that job and retired from teaching since I last wrote a blog. That's too long. So here a brief update. And a promise to blog more frequently.
1. I left the classroom and worked as the gifted teacher and PLTW Science lead teacher in my school. I did write about my new job here.
What I loved about this job was the role change for me. Instead of being in one classroom all year, I had the opportunity to get to know all of the children in the school and be in all of the classrooms. I renewed my appreciation for the teachers I worked with. Every class I walked into had thriving, happy children who enjoyed being in school.
And I still had my gifted students to get close with and teach. I helped them become leaders and change agents. They learned about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They taught their classmates and schoolmates about the problems in the world. They wrote to government officials, set up websites, ran a school assembly, and created videos to alert the world to these problems. They believed they could make a difference in the world. And so they did.
2. I retired after 35 years in the classroom. Since 1984, when I went through student teaching, I have been working every school year and almost every summer. I took off 10 weeks when I had my wonderful daughter, Alixandra, but, otherwise, I worked.
Over the course of my career, I have taught every elementary grade - Grades K-5, taught numerous classes in district, presented at many conferences, and won multiple awards. I wrote a book about blogging, worked with companies, such as BrainPop, to help them improve on ideas for use in the classroom, and connected with teachers and classrooms around the world.
I worked under 6 principals and 5 Superintendents. Some good, some bad, some supportive, some not. I learned how important administrators are in creating the tone of the school. So some years were joyful and exciting, while other years were stressful and monotonous.
3. I moved out of New York and into the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina. I love where I live now. But I am frustrated living in the mountains with limited internet access and phone access. I'm not used to having everything I do take so much time. And I miss being able to stream videos without running out of data.
4. I gave up my second job as Elementary Vice President of the Herricks Teachers Association. I find it particularly difficult to live in a non union state, having just left 5 years of fighting for union rights. I have already had conversations in Walmart about union rights.
5. My family:
My mom moved with us to NC. She had a minor stroke right before we moved and has struggled with the physicality of a new home, but she is doing better after getting physical therapy.
My daughter moved to a neighboring town in NC with her boyfriend, now her fiance. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Biology although has chosen not to use that degree. She is working now as a Vet assistant, going back to school to be a Vet Tech. And she is planning her wedding.
My husband retired when I did. He has been spending a great deal of time fixing up our house. It was an unfinished house when we purchased it. The outside is finally finished, furniture is being built, and we are getting to a point were we can just enjoy our new home, instead of listing everything that still needs to be completed.
6. I am starting a consulting business. I am ready to share what I know about children and teaching. Contact me if you would like me to come to your district.
7. I found an illustrator for my picture book and am now looking for a publisher. Stay tuned for more on that.
That's it. My life for the last five years. I have missed connecting, missed blogging, missed writing. How have you all been?