After a 2020 where our worlds were turned upside down, it was hard to predict what 2021 was going to morph into. But, then again, isn’t it always? While the whole globe may not always catch a virus, we never know, on a personal level, what bumps we’ll have in our road in any given year and we just live with an illusion of predictability and forward planning that could be thrown at any moment.
This is not a blog about 2021 being a bin fire. For me, at least, it really wasn’t. Yes, the world still has the COVIDs and all that goes along with it and I recognise that, for many, many people, that brought illness, lost jobs and missing opportunities. For those people, I really am sorry and fervently hope that 2022 can provide something better.
For me, 2021 was actually a year of growth in all sorts of ways:
- I reacquainted myself with teaching early years after a long time in Years 5/6 and have loved the challenge and reward it has brought. It really has given my teaching self a much needed boost of refreshment and renewal. It has provided ample opportunity to reflect on my practice and learn from and with the 5 and 6 year olds in my class about what they needed and how I could help them access that.
- My first year of (another) Masters degree has ticked by relatively painlessly but with ample moments of ‘wow’. As much as assignments and deadlines are still not my favourite things, I have relished the access I have to research in my field and dedicated time and brain space to explore it. Remind me of that later this year when I whinge about a full day of teaching then a 2 hour online lecture!
- Having a colleague at school also doing her Masters has been brilliant – we both understand the excitement of wanting to share, question and consider new ideas and having someone to talk to about that over coffee has added so much to the richness of the experience.
- I’ve been so fortunate to work with a fabulous team of educators at school who have supported, challenged and encouraged me and each other. Watching and being part of my students’ learning is one thing but being part of a Prep-2 team that learn together and watching our practice evolve throughout the year has been equally exciting.
- Remote learning wasn’t easy but I took on the challenge and did the best I could. It was a very different experience for me from 2020 as facilitating learning online for Prep/1s is a world apart from Year 4/5/6s however there were some definite golden moments amidst the groundhog-ness of it all. And, despite it all, they really did grow and achieve and I have felt so privileged to be a part of that journey.
And 2022? I’m looking forward to:
- more exploring, learning and growing in Prep/1. My heart really is in the early years of school and, as much as I enjoyed my years teaching upper primary, this is what I need right now.
- participating in the Teaching Excellence Program which I’ve been accepted into this year. It’s been an active choice to not pursue Principal class roles but instead to look for opportunities to develop my skills in teaching within the classroom and I am really looking forward to seeing what this new program offers as well as the chance to work with colleagues across sectors.
- my second year of my Masters, one that will be more focused on research subjects in preparation for a thesis next year. More immersion in current research, more questioning and wondering and learning – yay!
- another year with the same fabulous team of teachers in Prep-2 and my colleagues in other year levels and roles at our school. When people ask where I teach, I often say ‘Utopia’ because it does feel like that on many days. Teaching is never easy and often tiring but there is nowhere else I’d rather be right now and nothing else I’d rather be doing.