Hands down, this has been my favourite year of my career. So in honour of this sentiment, I’m going to write a gratitude post about the year.

1. I had wonderful students who once they acclimatized to my style, were all in with thinking and learning differently. I don’t think I’ve ever had a year where I immensely enjoyed all six of my classes this much, but there was never a day this year that I felt apprehensive about the potential for behaviour issues. I was truly blessed with learning with six classes full of fascinating, kind, considerate, and lovely students.

2. I am no longer on an island in my pedagogical beliefs. For a long time, the way I think about education has been both beneficial because it’s given me a variety of opportunities, but alienating as I really think quite differently than many of my peers. Last year was a start, but this year, I’ve found a core group of individuals that encourage and push my thinking. We interact online, but what I’ve really appreciated is the face to face get togethers that have happened over the last year. We talk about pedagogy, we reflect together, and we plan for how to push even more. I am so thankful these people have come into my life.

3. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities this year. I created an integrated course (3U English with 3U HSP with Dan Ballantyne), I was a part of the English Digital Learning Project (EDLP) here in WRDSB, I attended and presented at BIT14, OTRK12, and Connect2015, I helped facilitate a collaborative project between one of my English classes and Colin Jagoe’s astronomy class, I did two presentations at our WRDSB Learning Carousel, I was on our assessment and evaluation team at the school level, I was a part of two learning cycle teams, I worked on an Action Research Project about the Triangulation of Data, and I was the Acting Department Head for second semester.

So in considering these three ideas, this is why the end of this school year is bittersweet for me. I’m looking forward to a chance to spend some quality time with my girls, to read a lot, and to recharge, but I loved this year. Going to work has been a joy for me and I feel so very blessed to be able to feel and express that sentiment as I know that for many people, going to work is an unpleasant and often discouraging way to spend eight hours a day.

I just feel grateful.

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