The 2022 Wind Down
As we get ready to wrap up 2022, I can’t help but take a bit of time to reflect on the past year. ‘Tis the season for reflection and gratitude, right?! It’s always the season for both reflection and gratitude, and this time of year seems to make it even easier.
First and foremost, I am thankful for the miracle that is my mom’s health. After a significant scare in September with a grim cancer diagnosis, followed up by the success of immunotherapy, I continue to be amazed and grateful for modern medicine that is working in Mom’s favor. In addition, her damn shoes finally fit again! She suffered from lymphedema, characterized by significant swelling in her feet and legs, as a result of the cancer, but it appears to be on its way out the door. Good riddance!!!
It’s so easy to be grateful for family: my one-of-a-kind parents and my siblings who are sincerely my best friends. We are truly blessed.
Bill and the boys fill my heart. They continue to spoil me, and make sure that I want for nothing. I am especially grateful that 2022 is the year that Elton bought a beautiful home, Owen is well-settled into his electrical apprenticeship with Mohrfeld Electric, and Emmett is cruising through his senior year and his last wrestling season.
Travel in 2022
Much of my gratitude for this past year rests in the travel opportunities that came my way: I was able to visit Katie in Terre Haute, Indiana several times this year; took a few trips to Des Moines for professional learning; a trip to Davenport to celebrate the life of Aunt Kathleen; a motorcycle trip to Langley, Illinois for the 3rd Annual Kruse Family ride; a week in Atlanta, Georgia for Emmett’s team construction competition; a weekend in Nashville, Tennessee with friends; a trip to Kansas City, Kansas for professional learning; a marvelous week-long trip including stops in Terre Haute, New York City, and West Point, New York; a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to provide professional learning; an annual trip to the Iowa State Fair; a trip to Wray, Colorado to celebrate the wedding of our nephew, Colton; another trip to Nashville, Tennessee for a sisters’ weekend; as well as several close-to-home trips.
All of these trips and the great times that came with them are a reminder of the following motto that hangs in my parents’ home:
Professional Growth in 2022
I am fortunate to work in a school district that recognizes and promotes professional growth. Our work with Solution Tree offers endless opportunities for growth around Professional Learning Communities. This is a work in progress; six years in, we have lots of work yet to do, and lots to celebrate in how far we’ve come. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Solution Tree consultant, Kim Cano, who will guide our journey for the next several years.
I am also grateful for the amazing colleagues that I get to work with every day. From my fellow instructional coaches who represent the epitome of dedicated, lifelong learning to the amazing teachers and teacher teams that we get to work with, to the administrative staff that are leading the work – I am fortunate to be surrounded by people who are dedicated to ensuring high levels of learning for all students. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our staff and students!
It has been an absolute thrill to become affiliated with the staff at Open Up Resources. For the last several years, I have been able to learn from them, via Zoom, in monthly PLC meetings. I was over-the-top thrilled to meet many of them in-person during the Open Up HIVE conference in Kansas City in July! It was there that I was presented with the opportunity to provide professional learning around the EL Education curriculum for staff at the Rise STEM Academy for Girls in Lexington Kentucky – what a terrific experience! I look forward to maintaining professional relationships and friendships with the fine educators at Open Up Resources.
Taking a Break
With three-and-a-half days ahead of us at school this week, I’m looking forward to a follow-up week-and-a-half break. My goal for the break is to focus heavily on relaxing with family and friends, with just a wee bit of school work. There are many reminders about the importance of truly taking a break at this time of year, and I plan to heed the advice. This will include taking a break from writing. When I do return to writing, my post will be about my One Word for 2023… and I think it’s already been selected.
No matter how my time is spent during this much-anticipated break, I know that the following quote encompasses the heart of my gratitude: