Friday, January 4, 2013

A New Year is Upon Us

Happy New Year...or should I say Happy 4th day of the New Year? As the new year begins, I can't help but reflect on the one that has just passed. I look at how my life has changed professionally and personally. Last year, I joined my district's report card committee which required countless after-school meetings and led to the standards-based report cards we started using this past fall.

I also became a member of my campus-based Texas Literacy Initiative Grant committee which necessitated a two-night stay in Houston and a two-day conference in Dallas. Being a part of this group still requires weekly data meetings.

And, I'll admit, when August rolled around, it was a difficult start to the school year in the classroom. I became overwhelmed and discouraged as I seemed to be putting all my time and energy into school with little reward. I started working late and skipping my evening workouts (from exhaustion and simply doing more school-related work at night). I started working on Saturdays (yes, my friend, I was in my classroom six days a week). I thought if I just gave more time then everything would fall into place. How was that workin' for me, you ask? Well, it wasn't.

I cried...I used my outside voice inside my classroom on too many occasions...I tried just about every kind of flavored water from the nearest Walmart...then it hit me. Just as you would raise your children and try to keep a balance in your life, the amount of time you have to give is not as valuable as the quality of time. My students did not want a tired teacher, and they were not intentionally not learning. They just needed more quality time. A more patient teacher. And, I needed more quality time. Away from school.

So, I began working out again. I wasn't new to working out...I've had gym memberships and have used exercise DVDs for years. And, I was, after all, housing an elliptical machine for a family member...why not actually use it? I did enjoy the Yogalosphy video workout from Mandy Ingber that I purchased not so long ago, so why not do that again? And a new pair of shoes was just enough to reignite me once again...

Nike Free Run shoes
So, I started working out on the elliptical machine for 20 minutes...anybody can get through 20 minutes, right? That's only about 7-8 songs on my iPod. I began using the yoga DVD again...maybe not all the reps and maybe taking more breaks in child's pose than Mandy...but, who was watching? I've learned that after about 2-3 days in a row of working out, your body actually looks forward to working out the next helped clear my mind, because it's impossible to think of your 20 kiddos while doing a plank and your legs are shaking and you've told yourself that you're going to go longer than you did last time...only you can't remember how long you did last time, so you're trying to keep up with Mandy. Believe, me, my school was the furthest thing from my mind.

And you know what happened? Not overnight, but slowly, my patience returned. I began laughing again when my students would ask me for the 37th time what they were supposed to do...I stopped taking work home in the evenings...and I stopped working on Saturdays...that became my yoga day. So, now, I am working out for an hour...yep, I said an hour on the elliptical three days a week and doing yoga once a week. It is amazing how well you sleep after working all day with firsties and working out in the evenings for an hour.

This leads me to the New Year...I don't think it's all about making great changes or starting something that you've never thought about doing before. I think it's about making little changes and pushing yourself further...just past the point that you're already comfortable with (Mandy gives not only a great workout, but great advice on her DVD, as well). For me, that's working towards running my very first 5K on January 12th. And, not just any 5K, but the one that is just for women and girls...and has a cute name...

Jiggle Butt Run 2013
Yes, there will be some jiggle...but, I expect their to be laughter, smiles, and cheers as well. So, if you're in the area, join me...or think about how you can push yourself just a little further...I know we'll accomplish great things this year.

For those of you that have read to the end, I appreciate you sticking with me...and I'd like to share some entertainment that my daughter and I got to witness on our New Year's Eve night...courtesy of our waiter at the Magic Time Machine.

The Devil breathing fire
Enjoy what's left of your winter break, and here's to a amazing start to 2013!


  1. I love your post. I found myself in the same spot in 2012 and have decided to make changes the same way you have. I was so excited to find that it is working for you and I'm encouraged that I can find that balance again as well!
    First Grade and Fearless

    1. Hi, Maggie! I am so glad my post resonated with you. I discovered that, for me, the change wasn't overnight, and there are times I can still regress (during testing times), but you have to take care of yourself in order to be the best teacher you can be :) Thanks for stopping by!