And a few things that didn't make it onto the pages:
What space will you make for yourself for self-care in the new year?
Hmm.. I'm not great at self-care.
I'm great at getting obsessive and working all day and night.
Even with cosplay, which is the thing I set aside for myself, I tend to do it obsessively too, so both Miriam and Bob can attest that I pushed myself into tears and breakdowns during con-crunch season last year.
I don't know how to do anything else.
Which makes this the hardest question of all for me. Let's see.
I promise to continue to make time for my son whenever he asks, which means the world to me because he asks less and less as he gets older and he's going to be a sophomore, so I have so little time left with him. We have been watching Glee together, which has been great, but we are in the 5th season and the Finn episode is next (if you don't know what I'm talking about, then I'm not spoiling it), so I'm not so sure how much he'll trust me to choose shows for us in the future.
I promise to actively make time for my husband, who won't ask, because he's really bad about making sure I have everything I need and thinking his needs are third in the household.
I promise to maybe sometimes play video games. I really miss them. But I feel like I'm not achieving anything when I'm playing them, which makes me nervous, so I end up playing for a day, and then working extra hard for three days to make up for it.
I promise to take care of myself, medically. This seems obvious, but I tend to put off medical things because "I'm busy" and I can get pretty bad before I actually take time to see a doctor or remember to finally get medicine that I need to stay on (see Day 13).
I promise to try to keep cosplay fun for myself and avoid more con crunches. They really are overwhelming and I shouldn't take something I love and make it stressful.
I promise to shut off social media when it gets overwhelming. I already do this one. When I disappear from facebook and twitter, that's because I've got plenty going on elsewhere and adding to my socialness is just something I'm not able to do and stay healthy anymore.
I promise to take on no new leadership positions for one year. I can't promise more than a year at a time, but I really am at my limit. I am the ACL Treasurer, GJCL Treasurer (until April!), and GCA vice-president, plus all the things that I do with Miriam and Bob on this site and Pomegranate Beginnings. And of course full-time teaching. And presenting. So adding more to that for now is a bad idea.
Okay, that seems like some things. Seven of them in fact. Look, it can be hard. I've mentioned before that teaching is a career that is rooted in service and passion, and it is. That makes it hard to put down, and it makes it easier to develop guilty feelings when you do put it down. I get that. I'm trying to be healthier, though, and I hope you all are too.
What space will you set aside for self care next year?
What books have you read and what books are you planning to read?
Well, aside from a ton of non-education-related books (yay summer!)....
I am currently reading
What is one practice that it is time for you to change up?
What is one practice it is time to change up?
Oy. What is one practice it isn't time to change up? I jest, but seriously.
I think we (my colleagues and I) have discussed quite a few things we plan on changing up. I know I've talked about things I want to change in my daily schedule for my kids already. So, let's talk about something else...
Yep, everyone's favourite go to for CI. I love circling. I am okay at it, especially in level I. What I've discovered as I've grown with this group of kids that I've now taught through level III (and on to level IV next year) is that as they grow and gain skills, what we do must grow with them. It must change. And now, as I begin to teach the babies again, I think about how I've changed and how things will be different for them. I'm still working through this, so let me just lay out a few thoughts:
What is one new practice you want to adopt for the new year?
I've already written about this, so I don't want to beat it into the ground, but I am going to spend a lot of time making sure my classes are more representative of my students as a whole. My students aren't all white and my imagery and readings shouldn't be either. I want to make sure all students can see themselves in my curriculum.
What is one new practice you'd like to adopt in the new year?
This will probably be a short post for me, but it is one I'm fairly excited about. Let me start by acknowledging that this isn't my idea. I got it from Bob Patrick and I think he first got it from John Piazza, but if I am wrong, I sincerely apologise!
One thing that has gotten stale for both students and myself is the practice of "roll call". I call a name and kids respond "adsum". It gets old and kids get a little lazy with the response and sometimes mistakes occur. It's rare, but it has happened that I've marked a kid absent when they were present, but didn't think to respond or hadn't responded loudly enough. Plus, kids get used to it and stop paying attention and talk through it, causing even more issues.
I'm not quite sure of the original idea, so I hope I am capturing the feeling behind it when I describe it. In addition to this, on occasion, one might have students do a variety of things when responding to roll call. It varies from day to day or week to week. I'm particularly thinking about how to vary this between my three levels next year (1, 2, and 4). Since I kind of discussed this in an earlier post, here are some ideas I'm considering:
What upcoming professional development are you excited about?
I am super excited about ACTFL's Annual Convention and Expo. It's going to be in New Orleans this year, so that's exciting just on its own, and of course ACTFL itself always has the potential to be crazy rich professionally, whether in terms of professional connections or sessions, or amazingly powerful conversations about educational methodology with colleagues whom you just met. I'm excited to see old friends and meet people I only know online and learn as much as I can about what is current in Latin and language teaching. I am especially excited because I joined ACTFL's Critical and Social Justice SIG (Special Interest Group) this year and I am hoping to find a lot of other members of the SIG there this year. AND we at Stepping Into CI have joined a publishing co-op to share a table at the Expo so we'll actually be offering some of our books! Which is kind of crazy to me because ACTFL has about 7000-8000 people.
I am also, on the other end of the year, super excited about the American Classical League's Centennial Institute this year in New York City. I admit to being biased, as ACL's treasurer, but the energy at Institute was really good this year--it was quite possibly one of the best Institutes I have attended--and I am really excited to see us carry that on with our celebration in New York. Our vice-president, John Gruber-Miller, has worked really hard to change the format of the conference into something more modern, and I think the result was a more dynamic, connected, and positive experience for everyone. So I'm ready to see what we put together for New York and how we celebrate this first century of the ACL.
I also know of a BUNCH of online training initiatives coming up, some via the ACL, some via Miriam and myself, some via ACTFL, and I'm really excited that we're all taking advantage of the technology at our fingertips!