One year ago my life changed. On December 5, 2015, I pushed ‘publish’ on my first blog post. I remember that evening, I was so nervous, yet it was exhilarating too. I remember thinking about what to write and deciding to write from my heart. I haven’t veered from that approach and it makes writing so much fun.
Much has happened in a year.
I was resistant to social media because I didn’t see a place for it in my life. I had my family, friends, and colleagues and phone calls, texts, and emails did the job for me. Everything changed one year ago when I attended the MEMSPA State Conference in Kalamazoo, MI. The stars aligned that week and serendipity happened–the right timing, the right keynote presentation, and the right connections with principals across Michigan. I stumbled upon a life-changing event and I knew it.
The changes that have taken place over the past year go well beyond the value of blogging. This post would be the length of a book if I were to describe all of the things I have learned. To sum it up, I will focus on the value all my learning has had on my life and the life of those I love.
1. My teachers think I am a good principal. Honestly, this is the only thing that really matters to me professionally. My job is to serve them, and they think I am okay. They liked me before, but I can see how my professional growth has positively impacted them. Over the past year, they have told me that they appreciate how I push them, what I model for them, how I make them think, how I help them feel strong and confident, and how we have fun together and find joy in our work. That alone is enough of a reason to have stretched myself.
2. I know myself better as an educational leader because of the reflecting I have done through blogging and sharing my belief system. I have clarified my thinking, analyzed the methods behind my madness, and inspected my intentions. I feel more confident than ever in my desire to improve everyday. I am not afraid to make mistakes anymore, I am eager to learn from them.
3. I have connected with brilliant and amazing people across the country and across countries. I never thought little ol’ Allyson Apsey would have something of value to say to wise and charismatic people who are some of the best educational leaders I know. I have learned so much from the people I have connected with. I won’t create a lengthy list here because I fear leaving someone out, but my PLN knows who they are. I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart for accepting me, pushing me, and sharing with me.
4. I have tried so many new things over the past year. Some things have flopped and some have been awesome. I didn’t even know what iMovie was a year ago, or Socrative, or podcasting, or the benefits of having a YouTube channel. I had no idea about Voxer, why Twitter is such great PD, and never imagined that I would use PicCollage like it is going out of style. I love trying new things like Buncee or Quik and thinking about how they can be applied to student learning. I love that my teachers are fully supportive of this journey and share their new learning and ideas with me.
Here is a little trip down blogging memory lane:
My first blog post: My Infuriation with Education
My most popular post: This is not a good-bye, this is a thank you
The post that made me cry the most: How to Smile…I Mean Cry…No, I Mean SMILE!
The post that made me laugh the most: Buy your Emotions Deflector Today!
The post that @benjamingilpin just put in his top ten for the year (happy dance!): So I Am Having a Bad Hair Day?
My least popular post: Honor What Your Students Already Know
Where to go from here? I am going to keep learning, laughing, and live like Pope Paul VI suggests…
“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say, whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”