As 2016 comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on the year that was. It’s oh so clear to me how blessed I am and how much I’ve learned in a year that really has flown by. Being the person that I am, I find it only fitting to spread the love and try to thank as many people as possible who have helped me grow professionally this year. All of these people continue to inspire me and push me to become better in all that I do.
Meg : thank you for taking me under your wing. I’ve learned SO MUCH from you this year and I always feel like I can come to you with anything. I’m so thankful that I met you this past year and that our professional relationship turned into a friendship that I’m sure will last a lifetime.
Nycol : Oh my dearest friend Nycol… we go way back! I can always count on you even if we haven’t spoken in months. I know that you always understand me and I love the fact that we share the same passion and are always pushing each other to do bigger and better things.
Paula and Tyler: merci for providing me with support and encouragement in all of the risks that I’ve taken in my class this year. I appreciate that your doors are always open and that I can bounce ideas off of you no matter how crazy they may seem.
Paul Solarz, author of Learn Like a Pirate: I bought this book over the summer and if I had to pick one specific moment that drastically changed my teaching, it would be reading this book. Paul, thank you for giving me the confidence to try new ideas in my classroom this year. My teaching beliefs always (maybe sometimes subconsciously) aligned with yours, but your book and practical examples gave me the push I needed to make big changes with my students. Thank you for that!
Sheila and Margo: I’m pretty sure I would’ve lost my mind this year without you two in my life! Thanks for your love, guidance and support this year. I truly appreciate the fact that I can come to you for anything that’s going on both inside the classroom and out.
George Couros, author of Innovator’s Mindset and Katie Martin: I cannot thank you enough for the Innovator’s Mindset Massive Open Online Course (#IMMOOC). Yes George, your book is amazing all on its own, but the power of the MOOC was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. You both were (and still are) so invested as educators and push so many others to great things. I am living proof of that as I continue learning, reflecting and blogging all because of you two.You really walk the walk and I’m loving continuing to learn from you by reading your blogs! Also, thank you for allowing me to take my risk-taking to the next level by participating in the last IMMOOC hangout!
Natalie: Natalie, although I’m sure you’re learning a ton from being a student-teacher in my class this year, I wanted to thank you for being so patient. As we try new things together with no clear way of knowing if it’ll work or not, sometimes things don’t always end up the way we thought they would… but I’m glad that you’re experiencing this as well because I know that it’ll be important for you to continue taking risks once you have your own classroom! I also wanted to thank you for teaching me so much. I think that we make a great team and I’ll be sad to see you go at the end of March!
Marc: We may not be working together anymore, but you’ve helped to shape me into the teacher that I am today and will be tomorrow. I continue to look up to you and appreciate that you’re still willing to help and support me in all of my endeavors.
Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a Pirate, co-author of P is for Pirate, and president of Dave Burgess Consulting Inc.): Thank you for your passion. Seriously, I need to say that again: Dave, thank you for your passion! I’ve never met you, but your passion exudes in everything that you do! Your book was so inspiring and watching you during the #IMMOOC and #DitchSummet was a real treat! I’m truly looking forward to the day that I get to see you speak in person (or the day that students create a time machine so that Nycol and I can go sit in one of your classes)!
Kevin et ses amis: Merci to this awesome teacher and his students who have taken risks with my class and I. We’ve had so much fun doing a variety of activities with you via Skype and Google Hangout and look forward to continuing to learn and share with you in 2017!
Julie: I started working with Julie last year and it has truly pushed me out of my comfort zone. Julie, thank you for encouraging me to take new risks and giving me practical suggestions on how I could improve as a teacher! I appreciate your guidance and love that I get to be inspired by you every day because you’re just across the hall!
Danys: Coding club and relationship building time, merci!!! You are awesome! Need I say more?
To all of my students, thank you for always being willing to try new things with me! I may be the teacher, but I learn from you all every single day. I love that we learn together and that no matter what, we have fun! I’ve said it in previous posts too, but thank you to the amazing parents of my students! Thank you for trusting me with your favorite little humans. Thank you for your support with the risks that I’m taking in class. It is because of your precious kids that I am so passionate about what I do!
Finally, a very big thank you to my family and especially to my amazing husband, Chris! I know that I’ve put so much time and energy into my professional life this year and I couldn’t have survived without your love and support! I know that I was put on this earth to be a teacher and a mom, but sometimes it is seriously hard being both (especially since that’s where my passions lay). Chris, Caden, Emmett, Brooks and Brecken, thank you for being patient with me when I came home late and didn’t have any energy left to give to you, the most important people in my life. I love you all!