This time of year is always one for reflection and forward thinking. Inspired by those I follow on twitter from the educational world I have decided to put together my own 13 things to reflect on and 14 things to look forward to!
1. This May saw the passing of my nan. She was my last living grandparent and she has left a huge hole in my life and of those she knew. I used to speak to her every week on the phone and see her in school holidays. I have gone to phone her a few times and each time a pang of sadness hits me. I feel like a big link to my childhood is gone as I spent lots of happy times with all 4 of my grandparents and they are what I shall remember. I am also pleased that she saw me get married and met my son; something my other 3 grandparents never did. I miss you nan.
2. Benjamin, or B as I tend to call him in writing, turned 3 this year. He has come so far and his language is blossoming. Every day he makes me smile and most days he drives me mad too, usually when he wakes at silly o clock. However it is the happy moments such as the first ‘luff you mummy’ that happened this year that I look back on fondly.
3. Family is super important to me. I am lucky that I get to see my parents and the inlaws quite frequently and I love seeing their relationships with B building. This year has plenty of Steam Railway memories as B is a bit of a trains nut. These family moments are ones to build on.
4. Holidays. I am very lucky to have been on 2 holidays this year. One with my husband and B to the beautiful Yorkshire Coast based in Filey and the other in North Wales with the added delight of my parents and their crazy dog. There are so many moments I have treasured from those holidays.
5. Well this year the big O called to check in on us at school. I was very happy with my own personal feedback of an Outstanding lesson, though sad to see ‘Good’ as the overall outcome for the school.
6. Keeping with work, this calendar year saw the end of my first year with an all PMLD group of children. I was a little nervous of this going from y5/6 sld but happy to be going back to my love of early years and relishing a new challenge. I can honestly say that I think I have found my niche. I love it! I am happily still with the same group of children and although at times their complex needs worry me, I absolutely adore teaching them.
7. This year I have created and continued to develop our school’s website. I am proud of myself for doing this but it continues to be a big project for me.
8. 2013 was the 5 year anniversary of me joining a local ladies choir. I have always had music in my life since starting the clarinet at 7 years old but only play at work now. The choir brought back my love of performing and I have made some good friends and improved my singing.
9. I am proud that I continue to juggle (well just about) being a full time teacher and mummy to B and squeeze in being a wife and still fit in some time to do things like choir. It is quite a balancing act to try and be half decent at any of them.
10. Friends. Friends are so important. As I am so busy doing all the things above, I do not see as much of them as I would like. However the times I have spent with them have been great. Thank you if that includes you.
11. Meeting Online friends. Yes, you know, people you have never met but form great friendships with. I have been a big user of online forums and chatrooms for years and years now, probably since about ’97! I have in the last few years been part of a special forum which mostly is made up of fellow teachers with children. It is a great community and I am so happy to be a member of it. This year I have had the chance to meet up with some of these ladies and it was like seeing friends who I have know for years.
12. Online friends doing amazing things. As part of the community I mentioned above, sometimes things don’t always run smoothly for everyone. I am proud to be part of a community who pull together to support those going through horrendous times. You rock ladies.
13. This year I have started using twitter and Pinterest for work more. I have, especially on twitter, found a great network of people, teachers, management, technical folk, authors, everyone you could wish for. Through them I have learnt a lot and had a great laugh too! Thank you.
So what do I hope 2014 brings and what am I looking forward to?
1. I hope that I can continue with my juggling act of mummy, wife, teacher, friend and Nichola!
2. I hope that my boy continues to grow in to a kind, funny and crazy boy. He turns four in 2014 and starts school. Scary for me but I am sure he will rise to the challenge.
3. Continue to spend quality time with my family. I just love spending time with them but it is hard when life gets in he way.
4. Holiday. We have 2 holidays booked again this year. One in February in St Ives with my inlaws, brother in law and his girlfriend. It is to celebrate my MILs 50th birthday and I am sure that will make for fabulous memories.
5.The other is in my childhood memory home of the area of Norfolk near Cromer. My parents may join us for some of this holiday if possible. Either way I hope the sun shines and memories are made.
6. I hope that one of my friends has a fabulous wedding day to her lovely fella and we are part of it.
7. I hope to continue to enjoy choir and maybe talk our conductor in to us singing some of my favourite music.
8. I hope to grow as a teacher. Increasing my knowledge and experience.
9. I hope to stay within pmld and sld teaching, especially pmld as my love for it is growing all the time.
10. I hope to increase my online work relationships. I feel they are really helping me to grow as a teacher and help me feel not so isolated as it is so easy to feel in the world of special ed.
11. I hope to find the time to go to the theatre. I love musicals and saw not nearly enough in 2013, though Wicked and Rent were fabulous.
12. I also hope to see more live comedy. It is a great night out. Comedians such as Greg Davies, Ross Noble, Dara O’Briain etc have made me cry with laughter over the years.
13. I hope to spend time with my friends. Some I haven’t seen for months. However, they are there for me and me for them regardless.
14. Most importantly I hope to have fun. In work, home and play!