First of all, Happy New Year! I hope this year holds some amazing adventures for you!
I am not usually into the whole One Word wave, but this year is a little different for me.
As many of you know I retired last July after 32 years in public education. Having been immersed in the elementary education world for that long and then venturing out into the "real world" is like journeying to a new galaxy.
Yes, it is that profound. Those of you who have been in education for a long time know exactly what I am talking about.
We have our own vernacular, our own expectations of "the system" (some good, some not so good), our own ways of navigating successful interactions with children and adults depending on our "school roles", adherence to tight schedules (especially in elementary school where you have to plan and backup plan for every minute of the day); the entire culture of public education (although very different from when I first entered it all those year ago) is unique.
When I left that structured system, a system that had been a major part of my life for over three decades, I felt a sense of disequilibrium!
Although I have really been enjoying spending more time on my picture book writing interests, working on some contract projects for Drone Legends, and getting out and walking, it is a VERY different lifestyle.
Embedded in my educator brain is a sense of guilt:
So, to combat these feelings and wean myself off the expectations (often unfair) that are engrained in many of us in the education world, I've decided to embrace my One Word for 2024!
I'm going to reimagine what it means for me to be successfully educating others through different work - namely drone curriculum development, my STEM newsletter, and super fun author visits!
I'm going to reimagine what it means for me to be a picture book author by dipping my toes into the traditional publishing world - querying for an agent.
I'm going to reimagine what it means to celebrate my new normal which may include spending time reading, taking pictures, exploring nature, checking my new trail cameras - and yes, it is okay if it's in the middle of the day!
As a huge STEM advocate, I continually tout the importance of the imagining step when leading kids through the engineering design process.
I am REALLY looking forward to 2024 - my REIMAGINING step!
What are you reimagining this year?
STEM Advocate and Picture Book Author