A New Year & New Goals: Part 2

My second goal for 2016 is to be brave.

Being brave isn't as easy as it sounds.  

Stretching your limits and being vulnerable is so difficult to do, but that's where the most growth happens, right?  Right!

So, I'm putting myself out there.  I'm heading out to the great unknown of social media and forcing myself to meet and mingle with other teachers, bloggers, Periscopers, and more.

1.  Go to Teacher-Blogger Meet Ups:

I feel like Jim Carey in Yes Man.  My jump into social media has led me to new Facebook groups for teachers and TpTers and now those peeps want to get together at meet ups.  And to every teacher or blogger meet up that's not too far away...I say YES!

One key to success is surrounding yourself with successful people, especially those with similar goals, so I’m saying yes to meeting new teacher friends in this new social media world.  I’ll be driving and flying all over California in January and February for three different meet ups.  I won’t know a soul, but I hope to be brave, as I’ll be socializing, enjoying dinner, and even sharing a hotel room with people I’ve only met on Periscope or Facebook.  My husband thinks I'm crazy, as he is a little more cautious than I am…but I’m sure Shelby from Wriggling Scholars won’t kill me in my sleep! I'm not too old for a slumber party, right?

Here's my name tag from my very FIRST teacher blogger meet up last weekend in Manhattan Beach.  I met four very popular bloggers who happen to work in the same area I do and a host of other friendly and brilliant women that also aren't too far away.  Valerie Miller from Common Core Collaboration became my new best friend at the event, as we walked in together and did not really leave each other's side most of the night.  We were being brave together!

In February, I'm heading to the home of Katie Knight from Teacher to the Core for a Tea Luncheon as well as to Sacramento for a HUGE teacher meet up hosted by Sarah from Tales of Teaching with Tech, Erin from Very Perry Classroom, Brianne from Hooo-ray for Teaching, and Laura from Teaching from Beyond the Desk.  

I'm nervous and excited at the same time!  Be brave...I have to keep telling myself this.

2.  Start a Video Class Newsletter: 

I write a quick and easy weekly class newsletter that ties in the curricular topics we're covering in class and describes our homework assignments for the week.  My school is now 1:1 with Chromebooks, so I need to integrate more technology and opportunities to learn with technology for my students.

Taking my weekly newsletter off the page and making it come alive with video seems like a great way to accomplish this.  By filming myself and my students presenting the newsletter each week, we all will practice and learn more about presentation, voice, nuance, eye contact, fluency, expression, and so much more.  

Now, I'm usually the one behind the camera, not in front.  And, I hope to keep it that way most of the time as I want my students mastering their presentation skills.  But, modeling must be done, so I will be brave.  

3.  Periscope More and Launch my Blab:  

     Now that I have been exploring social media more, I have discovered lots of teacher professional development opportunities through Periscope, Blab, and Facebook groups.  Sheila from Sheila Jane Teaching has created the beautiful iTeachTVNetwork.  It is chock full of live streaming discussions fit for every teacher, regardless of grade level or experience.

    Smart, knowledgeable, and personable educators are taking to the air waves to share their ideas, successes, and sometimes their failures.  It's like a huge staff room of collaborative teachers ready and eager to share their experiences.  

     I've hopped on Periscope a few times, but it took me hours to get up the nerve to do a 10 minute live stream Periscope.  No joke....hours!  It has gotten better each time and the rush of excitement I feel after a broadcast is worth it.  I just love being a part of this up-and-coming social sharing.  I will be brave and get on the airwaves more this year.

   I have even spoken to a few fellow Periscopers and we are in the works to start our very own live streaming broadcast on Blab.im about music and movement in the classroom!  Having an active, fun, and educational classroom is my area of expertise and I'd love to share my tips and tricks with other educators.  The idea of being in front of the camera for a live streaming show is a little less terrifying if I have others in cahoots with me!  It will be easier to be brave with other teachers by my side!

    So, those are my two simple yet MAJOR goals for this year!  Have you thought about what you'd like to accomplish this year?  Are YOU willing to be brave and try something totally out of your comfort zone?  Let's do it together!

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A New Year & New Goals: Part 1

The new year.  A popular time to reflect on your accomplishments and set new goals for the year.  Bleck!!

Seriously, I’m not normally a New Year’s Resolution type of gal…I prefer spontaneous motivation to spark both my personal and professional goals, not flipping a page on my calendar.  

BUT, this year the stars have aligned and I am motivated right now to light a little fire under my tush and try some new things!  No pressures, deadlines, or consequences in this house!  No siree!  Just fun and healthy activities for some personal growth, as a teacher and a mommy.

My first goal this year is to spend more time in the kitchen!

Yep, you read that correctly.  Mind you, I'm not clamoring to do more dishes or clean out the refrigerator, but I do want to start cooking more meals from scratch with my little girls.  I've perfected a few recipes that I make quite often, but boredom has set in and I can certainly learn new recipes to add to the rotation.

Step 1:  Cooking with my girls – 

My little girls are hard-core fans of cooking shows, especially if children themselves are competing, like in Chopped Junior or Kids Baking Challenge.  At age 5 and 8, they are wanting to help more and more with peeling carrots and mixing the salad dressing…which is a much better than just licking the spoon I used to mix the cake batter.  Getting them in the kitchen more helps me cook more healthy meals from scratch and encourages them to eat a bigger variety of foods.  Win win.

My little chefs are ready to cook up a storm!

Step 2: Prepare one new meal from scratch once per month – 

This obviously ties into getting my girls more involved in the kitchen, but this is more about helping me become a better cook.  After work, I’m SO not motivated to whip up a healthy Martha Stewart meal and have it hot and ready by 6 p.m.  Sadly, I tend to steer towards Papa John’s instead.  But, this year I hope to give that pizzeria less of my hard-earned cash!

Now, goals should actually be achievable, so I’m sure Martha will never make an appearance in my kitchen, but perhaps I could use one Saturday or Sunday per month to plan, prep, and make something new from scratch!

Enter YouTube.  Don’t you just love YouTube?  I think I use YouTube as much as I use Google.  Want to know how to play Jingle Bells on the guitar?  YouTube.  How to do a Dutch braid?  YouTube.  How to make homemade tortillas?  YouTube!  

Here the girls and I bravely accept the challenge of making homemade tortillas!  Did we have the right ingredients?  NO, but that didn't stop us.  We made a few substitutions and although they weren't as fluffy as expected...they were edible.  That's a success in my kitchen!

The links below are to my newly discovered cooking channels with real ladies with real senses of humor.  A MUST for me, as I never take myself too seriously and love a good laugh.  Click the pics below to be taken to Hilah Cooking and Jenny Can Cook on YouTube.

Hilah Cooking:

Jenny Can Cook with Jenny Jones:

Next time, I tell you about my other goal for this year...which has me going WAY out of my comfort zone.  Truly.  It will be painful..and public...    Oh my word!

Are you trying anything new this year?  Being adventurous?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

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