Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 Roles & Goals

The new year is off to an amazing start, and I wanted to share something with you that I've been working on for a while.  The school where I work practices the 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  I read the version for teenagers when I was a preteen and was made a believer!  The principles are timeless and logical and, perhaps most importantly, provide EVERYONE an opportunity to reflect and improve.  No matter where you are in the process, you've never "arrived"...you can always work to better yourself on some habit, in some way. 

It's interesting to revisit the habits as an adult, after I've had tons more life experiences and my paradigms have grown and changed.  When we completed our training on the 7 Habits at the beginning of this school year, we contemplated our major roles and began establishing our personal mission statements.  I've been working on a "map" of that idea for a while, and I've finally had a chance to sit down and finish it.  I released a "sneak peek" on Instagram the other day, but now I'm ready to share the real deal! 

On this PDF, I've combined what I believe to be my essential roles, my two primary goals, and my personal mission statement.  My essential roles are numerous, as are yours, but I believe that all that I do can be summarized under these five strands.  For example, in my role as a teacher, I collaborate with students, families, and coworkers, but I believe that this is all under my role as "accomplished teacher."  I also teach Sunday School, and this falls under my role of "growing Christian" because I constantly want to challenge myself to both model and instruct my students to lead them in the right way. 

Likewise, I constantly have goals that I want to accomplish, and narrowing the list down to two was nearly an impossible task for me.  But I had to put on my "prioritizing lens" and think about what I needed to focus on AT THIS POINT in my life.  Taking care of myself so that I can take care of the others around me is non-negotiable.  Life is short, and I want to live it the best that I may!  That's why taking better care of myself - spiritually, physically, etc. - has to be a priority.  My role as teacher and collaborator is what I do professionally...our jobs consume a major part of our lives, and we should enjoy every second of them!  By establishing this goal as my second goal, I will make sure that my focus stays on track to accomplish all the things I want to for my students, their families, and my coworkers. 

My personal mission statement is very powerful for me.  Each quality represents something significant about me - some moment, some influence, some something - that I want to live.  It represents my mission statement for where I am now, but as I grow and change, so should it. 

I plan to post this near my work areas so that I can remind myself of the direction in which I want my life to go, and I can ask myself daily whether the tasks I'm focused on at the moment will help me to achieve those things or support those "roles and goals."

Because I believe in sharing, and I know how powerful this reflective process has been for me, I wanted to share this template with you too!  I've loaded it up to TpT as a freebie, so click on the image below to take you to a direct download.  


I'd love to hear feedback on your "roles and goals" or your personal mission statement.  May 2015 be a year in which we all grow stronger and wiser!

Product Updates for a New Year!

I've been busy over the Winter Break working on updating some of my TpT products (and making some completely new ones).  One of my products got a complete facelift, and my best-selling product is being seriously expanded.  Take a peek below to see what's up!

My Chinese New Year Burrito Booklet is now ready for classroom use for CNY 2015.  This year, CNY falls in February, so I decided to put this product on sale for just $2 until the holiday begins (Feb. 19).  The dates of the holiday have been updated, and I made some general changes to the fonts, etc. to make it a little more visually appealing.

I've also been doing a major overhaul to my Celebrations and Traditions Around the World Unit Bundle.  I've been working on this for weeks now, but it's coming along...slowly, but surely.  I'm adding scaffolded reading passages, black line masters, and suggested answer keys...just to name a few things.  I'll also be updating my web site companion to the bundle with new sites and videos.

I'll make a post when it's finally complete, but I'm so excited about how it's turning out so far!  Of course, feedback is always appreciated. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

14 in '14 Linky

Well, I suppose what they say is true...better late than never, right?  I stumbled upon this linky by complete accident, but the ironic thing was that I had been thinking about a post along this concept.  I just didn't know if others would be interested!  How wonderful that I discovered they are interested and so many fellow bloggers had already linked up!  So since I'm still in that reflective state of mind, here goes my 14 in '14...

I'm quite the collector of quotes...I even have pin boards to prove it!   So this one is definitely a tough one for me to narrow down.  I've thought and thought, but one just doesn't seem right.  Here are few that have been on my mind and in my heart lately.

This is my favorite Bible verse and has comforted me in many times of distress and concern.


Again, I couldn't narrow it down to just one, but I was able to get them both in the same picture!  (Does that count?)  A friend of mine got married in November, and I needed something to wear to her wedding.  That's when I went to Maurices because they have amazing clothes, great sales, and are fashion-friendly for the plus size gal.  I found this shawl-meets-cardigan and fell in LOVE!  I also saw this beautiful scarf and knew I had to have that too.  (Though I was a good girl and waited until they were both on sale!)

Easy.  Divergent.  Next!

But in all seriousness, I truly adore the entire series.  I related to it deeply and truly think they did a great job casting.  Though there are, in my opinion, two major flaws with the film, it was definitely "up there" in my opinion of book-to-film adaptations, and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.  INSURGENT!!!

Also easy, but difficult to narrow down to just one.  The Vampire Diaries is my immediate "go to" for fave TV series.  I did thoroughly enjoy Under the Dome this year, and when I have enough time, I also love The Voice.  TEAM ADAM!

Tough question for a foodie.  But I began and ended my 2014 here, so I guess it's..."Welcome to Moe's!"

I think my favorite new thing I've tried has been launching into my Teachers Pay Teachers journey.  It has been productive thus far, and I can't believe I didn't do it sooner!  I want to make a commitment to continuing to pursue that journey again this year and achieve even greater goals.


I was greatly comforted by a sentimental gift I received this year, and it is certainly one of my favorites of all time.  My mom bought canvas photos for me of my three boys, and they couldn't be more perfect!

Can I just skip this one?  I have over 100 pin boards and over 14,000 pins!  I don't know that I can pick a favorite, but I can share one that is certainly fitting for my inarguable addiction to this site.


Is this my favorite post or someone else's favorite post?  I'm pleased with the way my Classroom Decor post turned out.

This one is fun.  I didn't even really know I had accomplished anything, but this is certainly a fitting moment for 2014.  Back in February, I was invited to "present" at our district's board meeting.  Little did I know that it was a ruse to get me there to present the Employee of the Month award to me.  I nearly cried!  I was so appreciative of the recognition.  I feel that what I get to do every day is blessing enough, but for someone to honor that by commending you for a job well done feels amazing!

Another easy one, but this one takes me way back to the beginning of 2014.  As you probably remember, Alabama had a snowpocalypse in January and February.  I didn't know it at the time, but that was going to be my precious Picasso's last time to enjoy a snow fall!  We always teased that he was part polar bear, and you can certainly tell it from this video too.  The life in his eyes in this picture is such a warm reminder of how adventurous my baby was.  He lives on in my heart, but I miss him terribly!  I'm just so thankful for all the crazy weather we had this year because I know he had a blast!

My favorite 2014 memory would have to be the memories associated with #4 - my favorite photo.  But if I had to pick another one, I would say that seeing my best friend again after two years (and meeting her son/my nephew for the first time) was pretty awesome!
There are many things I want to accomplish this year, but I want to truly stay focused on taking better care of myself and enjoying the world around me.  I always want to be better than I was the day before, be it physically, spiritually, professionally, and so on.  No matter what, I feel that we should always be growing and maturing.  So that is my path, my goal for 2015.


Me?  One little word?  What?

Okay, seriously, I'll try.  My 2014 would have to be summed up in the word overcome.

I had several setbacks, multiple "light bulb" moments, and invaluable lessons.  I think I am learning to prioritize and confidently be me.  It's a bittersweet feeling, but I feel that I was able to overcome in 2014 thanks to God and to the amazing friends He has blessed me with.

My prayer for 2015 is that my "one little word" will be balance.



Thanks so much to Miss Kindergarten, A Teeny Tiny Teacher, and Dragonflies in First for this linky!  It was a nice opportunity to reflect on the specific moments that made my 2014 what it was.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Currently January 2015

So this year is off to a spinning start already, but I wanted to contribute to the January Currently linky before the first new month of a brand new year was already over!  So...here's my current situation...

I liked the idea of the "yes/maybe/I wish" feature on this month's Currently.  I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions because I try to live my life in such a way that TODAY is always the best day to start anything new.  But, with that said, I would like to be healthier and definitely achieve more balance...always remembering what's important and what I believe my purpose is.  (I'll have more on how I plan to do that soon!)

Head back to Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the entire linky and how YOU can participate too!  

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