What experiences have shaped you?

Really think about that, what experiences have shaped you? What experiences do find yourself reliving?

As I reflect on 2019, I go back to experiences that have shaped me. Experiences that stand out to me and give me a moment in time that I can relive in my mind. For instance, being named 'Teacher of the Year'. Please know, I'm not boasting. In fact, I'm always hesitant to talk about it in fear of lacking humility. If you know me, you know that I'm not one to toot my own horn. It's not in my character. But it's important to celebrate, live, and relive these moments.

As I close my eyes and relive that moment, I think about every teacher and person that has helped develop me to this point. Every student I was able to reach and teach. Every connection made with the families of my students. The teacher/s that nominated me. The love and honor I felt. This moment not only stood out in 2019, but launched a new energy within me. It ignited a fire inside me to learn more, become better, and champion those that are taking risks.

That one experience is a moment I will forever cherish.

As I scroll through my pictures from 2019, I notice that each of my best memories are experiences shared with those I love. Below are the experiences that stand out the most...

  • 'Kindergarten Meet Ups'

  • Two of my best friends getting married

  • Learning how to make a podcast

  • First public speaking experience

  • BEST service project with my kindergarten class and my friend's 1st grade class

  • My students' families sharing about their cultures and traditions

  • Receiving a grant for Virtual Reality (VR) goggles

  • Vacation with my handsome husband

  • Building solitary bee and insect hotels with my class

  • Watching my grandma battle cancer

  • Planting flowers for the bees

  • Playing outside with my wild sons

  • Attending ISTE in Philadelphia

  • Reliving my childhood at the lake with my own kids

  • Meeting my new kindergarten team

  • Moving from a school I loved to a new school

  • Hillsong United concert

  • Teach Better book study

  • Purdue Cheerleading Alumni Game

  • Playdates with special friends

  • Professional learning community (PLC) with some amazing coworkers

  • Kindness Ninjas

  • Building playhouses with my kindergarten class

  • Beginning daily walks with my class

  • Family birthdays

Each of these experiences are forever rooted in my heart. They are each special to me and reminds me to continue creating experiences to live in and grow from.

As I look back on each of these experiences, I realize that I want more experiences. Experiences hold special places in our hearts. That's why I'm grateful. And even the experiences that were difficult, in the end, it was good.

My 2020 #oneword is, experience.

I want to create memorable experiences with my family.

I want to continue to create meaningful experiences for my students and families.

I want to create experiences for my colleagues to feel safe, valued, and appreciated.

I want to experience REAL, HARD, and SCARY life with others.

What do you want for 2020? What is your #oneword?