Wow! I can't believe that 2011 is almost gone. It was quite a year, really, but I am not terribly sad to see it go. There were a lot of good things that happened this year, so I can't complain really. Hubby passed the bar, my daughter started Kindergarten and I finished all my classes forever. Or until I decide to learn something new! ;)
Come January, I am always excited for the new year. I always set lofty expectations for myself that I rarely accomplish. And then the following December (like now) I tell myself that this is the year I will do it. I am trying to set some loftier goals, but let's face it...that's not me! I always say I will lose weight. Thanks to Weight Watchers, I am on that freaking long ass journey. Who knew it would take me forever? I always say I will be more organized. What I should say is I will buy less crap and not have it in my house or classroom. Ha! If I don't buy it, I am printing it off from other fabulous bloggers and adding to my collection of files that I may or may not use in the future! But, at least I am trying! :)
This year, I have thought of a couple goals more school related. I feel like in the last couple years I have slacked off as a teacher. It's not from laziness, but from the fact that things have been so scripted and we have been told what to teach when, so a lot of the fun has been lost. I am slowly trying to bring back some things I used to do that my students have liked, plus trying new things. Sometimes I feel like I really suck at getting my kids excited about learning, but I am also comparing it to the classes that have more fun than learning, yet the kids "magically" are at grade level (but not really!). I have come to understand that I have a job to do (teach my kids), but that I need to bring some of the joy back to learning. I think I can do that with a little hard work and thinking a bit outside the box. Thanks to wonderful bloggers who share their creative abilities with us, I am able to provide my kids with some "fun" while they are still learning.
Another goal I have is to be more creative. After taking 3 art classes this summer, I feel I am a little better prepared to teach my kids art. It's been hard finding the time to fit it in, but we are slowly getting it done. I am planning to doing some more formal art lessons when we return and get them thinking more artsy...or as artsy as we can be! I know there are times when I am too rigid and by the book and making sure I follow my plans to a T, but I am going to try to go with the flow a bit more and see what happens. My husband would die laughing at this thought, but hey, it's the thought at this point that may make something happen!
Along those lines, I am going to try to be more creative and make more things I use in my class. I have tons of teacher resource books, but some of them aren't the greatest or they are boring. I'd rather make what my kids need. I love everything that Kristin has and I am loving everything that Heather has, too. I feel I am becoming a bit more creative by using their things. I don't have the creativeness in me like they do, nor do I have (or make) the time to sit at the computer. I don't buy clip art to use, nor do I want to. I am trying to get more, but I buy a couple, use them and then see all the cuter things everyone else has. But, I am going to try to see what I can do this year and make for me and my kids.
Sitting here tonight with another week of vacation ahead of me (go ahead, make nasty faces at me!!!!), I am thinking about all the things I want to do in my classroom that I can't get into yet. I never have liked the set up, so I think I may stay late one day and move it all around. Yep, craziness talking, but move things to make it better. Or at least get my desk away from the door. I hate it there and don't use it. I need it to be more teacher friendly and kid friendly. It may take me a month to get it done (our school will probably be closed all week, lucky us), but I want it to be done by February so I can feel more at ease with my room. I also need to organize things better. Since I had to move in in a hurry, things are shoved here and there and there isn't a lot of rhyme or reason as to where things are. That project may take me the rest of the year, but I can manage.
Well, my pizza is ready. Time to make a salad, sit down to eat dinner and start watching one of the 4 movies we got this weekend! Happy almost New Year to you all!