Tag Archives: New Year

Stepping into Teaching 2021

This morning we begin teaching again in a new year. Some of us will have resolutions and goals, some of us are just grateful for the relaxation and rejuvenation of a break, some of us are exhausted by the demands of caring for ourselves, our finances, and for others during this global pandemic.

Wherever you find yourself as you begin 2021 (in a classroom that is virtual, hybrid, or in-person) I hope you carry with you a sense of accomplishment for doing something teachers in history have never had to do before.

We can do hard things. We have done hard things.

Happy New Year, TEACHERS! Here’s to another year of being amazing.

Goodbye 2020, Hello (Again) Blogging

2020 was not a great blogging year for me. Though I continued to write each day, my writing was more for me than another audience. I created a Coronavirus Diary that documented each day of the pandemic starting on March 13th when we closed schools. I continued to journal, to notebook, and to create ‘daily doodles’ to also document my thoughts and events. I shared some with the #100DaysofNotebookingandBeyond group, but most were private and personal.

Well, with a new year comes new energy. I would like to blog more in 2021, but I want the entries to be concise and simple. I don’t have any idea where my thoughts or experiences will take me, but I want to use this blog as a way to work through them.

I am also going to join Michelle Haseltine again this year with her 2021 #100DaysofNotebooking group to get ideas for notebooking and to inspire my writing. You can join, too! Sign up here: 100 Days of Notebooking Sign up

We never know what the future is going to bring (a tough lesson for all of us in 2020) but writing is a way to process, explore, and document our experiences like nothing else can. I hope that if you are reading this you will find 2021 to be what my friend Jennifer Laffin calls: THE YEAR OF THE WRITER


This book is for anyone who has ever thought, “I can’t possibly make a difference in this crazy world.” Ann Braden (The Benefits of Being an Octopus) introduces us to four kids who desperately need some hope and support. They are separated by a continent, social norms, trauma, and stigma, but are brought together by one simple gesture of kindness that has a profound ripple effect. The way Wonder (by R.J. Palacio) inspired a generation to “Choose Kind”, Flight of the Puffin will show readers a powerful and creative way to “Be Kind”. Ann Braden does not shy away from tough issues in the lives of children and families, but with compassion and insight reveals how we can all stand up for ourselves and use the strengths we do have to face challenges with courage and grace. I love the way she weaves parallel strengths of nature (octopuses and puffins) into her stories and characters to remind us that we are all connected-every creature. (and I totally love puffins!!!) Getting to read this ARC was the best early Christmas present and a wonderful way to finish up this incredibly challenging year (2020). Look for this book May 4th – you do NOT want to miss this MUST READ, MUST OWN, MUST SHARE book in 2021.

Reflect. Resolve. Reframe.

Many of us oldladyyoungwomanhave seen this image before.  What do YOU see? An old woman with a large nose looking down or a young woman looking away?  It is the same picture-it is only our perception that is different.

Last day of 2013.  How do you see the year that was?         What is your perception of 2013?

Seems like everyone is taking some time to remember and reflect.  I’m no exception.  I love top 10 lists.  I love reviews of the year’s best books, movies, news stories, etc. I love flipping through my journals, my photo libraries, and Facebook pages to remember images and ideas I thought important enough to capture.  It is satisfying to contemplate goals achieved, tasks accomplished, memories made.

It’s not just fun.  It is foundational.  It is generational.  We use everything that we experience, learn, notice, share and understand as a foundation moving forward.  So how we contemplate these memories will shape the trajectory of the next year.  If we end the year with regret, how do you think we will begin the new year?  Do attitudes just magically transform at the stroke of midnight?

Are we anxious to get this year behind us?  Do we hope next year will be better?

As I look back on this past year I will take some time to appreciate how each experience has shaped who I am and has brought me to this moment in time.  I cannot change any events, but I can make every event an opportunity to learn and grow-even events long past.  So I will take some time today to reflect on what lessons were offered up to me with each book I read, each classroom I visited, each teacher I worked with, each friend I spent time with, each experience I shared with my children and husband.

This reflection, this perception,  will catapult me into a new year wide open with opportunities to learn and grow. I cannot predict what will happen.  I cannot control what will happen.  I can only choose how I will approach what happens.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not resolving to become Pollyanna, but I will encourage myself to look at life with more than one lens-to let perception shape my reality.

So rather than generating a list of resolutions this year I think I will focus on one idea…


It’s not new, it’s not exciting, it’s not easy but it is probably the most powerful gift I could give myself if I want to live a richer, more meaningful life.


We find disappointment when expectations seem to fall short.

We perseverate on the few things we failed to accomplish and give little recognition to the multitude of tasks we do accomplish.

We allow the urgent to replace the important.

We see the glass as half full (or empty) rather than completely full only because of what we perceive is in the glass.

We are not patient or compassionate with ourselves.

But what if…

We think about multiple success criteria for expectations.   techincally-the-glass-is-always-full-1

We recognize the little things we do as worthy and things undone as future opportunities.

We define what is important AS urgent.

We fill our glass with what WE choose so that it isn’t filled by others.

We treat ourselves like a nurturing parent filled with unconditional love and patience would treat us.

It’s not just positive thinking-it’s OUT OF THE BOX thinking that can reframe situations and events into meaningful experiences.  When we face challenges we need to approach things not only with an open mind, but a new mindset.  As Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

I’ll revisit this concept more often in the coming year.  Some resources that have helped me on this journey so far are:



What’s on My Book Radar?

I am thoroughly enjoying my Book a Day Challenge. I have been posting my reads on twitter.  So many wonderful books!  You can follow me at https://twitter.com/LitCoachLady

I always love Malcolm Gladwell’s unique spin on universal experiences.  Whenever I need to challenge perception, I can count on his insights to stretch my thinking.  Got this one for my husband at Christmas- I might jump in line ahead of him to read this!

Wishing you much joy and prosperity in the new year and the ability to perceive that it is already yours!
What direction will your life take in 2014?

Click here to test YOUR perceived direction!