Looking Back, Moving Forward



"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other" ~ Abraham Lincoln


It's that time of year where you begin to see more and more blog posts reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the next. It's a time when many people make resolutions. You can find lots of strategies and suggestions for making and keeping your resolutions but I have always found that above all one of the most important strategies is to put them in writing. By committing your resolutions to writing, especially in a public space like a blog, will bring your focus and purpose together to make that commitment strong. If you don't have a blog, write them on paper and post them where you can see them often. Whether your resolutions are personal or professional the only way you will succeed is to find internal strength and motivation. Dig deep!

A couple of days ago I began reflecting on the past year and went back to my blog post from one year ago today. You can read it here. I decided to give the title to this post the same as last year's because it reflects exactly what I am doing. I am looking back and more importantly I'm moving forward. The resolutions I sent last year were based on going deeper into educational technology, an area I have a keen interest in, but had neglected after moving from a learning technologies coordinator to vice principal. Did I make good on those resolutions? You be the judge.

  • Take more pictures with my Canon DSLR - I haven't posted all my pictures from the year to my Flickr account, but over the course of the year I have taken 2596 photos with my Canon 6D. My favourite from the year is the one at the top of this blog post. It was taken in Niagara Falls during the ECOO13 photo walk.
  • Blog whenever the bug hits me - In 2012 I blogged 31 times. In 2013 I blogged 39 times. For me this is significant as I am currently completing my Masters degree which requires a lot of reading and writing.
  • Keep a blog topic list in Evernote - I have a list in Evernote that I access anytime a potential topic hits me. After I blog about one of the topics it is crossed off. I still have a few on my list.
  • Encourage more teachers to invest instructional time in technology - This is ongoing. Over the past year I have seen teachers become mentors to others who want to integrate technology. I have been involved in team teaching and coaching in several projects over the past year. In fact my most popular blog posts came from an impromptu iPad project that myself and two other intermediate teachers completed with our students. You can read about it here
  • Keep my learning visible - This blog is a reflection of this resolution. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a colleague who thanked me for making my learning visible on my blog as it has encouraged her to do the same.
  • Make more connections with my PLN - This has been the most powerful part of being a connected educator. I have learned so much from my PLN, most of which I probably wouldn't have if it weren't for my connections on Twitter.
  • Encourage more staff and colleagues to use Twitter - You've probably heard many times before that Twitter is the best PD going. While I completely agree, it certainly is a tool that many find challenging to use. At EdCamp Leadership in August I heard about a Twitter Challenge and on the 8 hour journey home with my friend and colleague @sbruyns we created our own. You can see the challenge tasks and videos here
  • Investigate new technologies - This something that I love. Whether it's apps or hardware, I love seeing the potential for education. My current "research" is on Chromebooks and iPads. 

The new year will bring new challenges, of that there is no doubt. I have moved to a larger elementary school, which is a big challenge in itself. However, my goals are the same. I will continue to focus on the same resolutions as they are important to my personal growth and learning. I am going to add two more resolutions for 2014.

  • Exercise - While this past year was great for my professional growth it came with a cost, less exercise.  My goal for the next year will be to incorporate exercise at least 3 times a week.
  • Social Media at School - I am a strong advocate for schools using Social Media. My resolution over the next year is to use Facebook, Twitter, and Remind 101 to keep our community informed and involved in all the great things happening at the school. It will be a window into our learning.

How do you think I did on my 2013 resolutions? Do you have any resolutions for 2014 that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about them.

All the best in 2014!

Tweets of the Week - Jan.5, 2014
Tweets of the Week - Dec.22, 2013

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