Sunday, December 16, 2018

New Teaching Tidbits Blog

Image Credit: Pixabay.com
When I started blogging in 2014, I was serving as Secondary ESL Teacher and was inspired to blog by my English learners. A few months prior, my students created individual blogs and while the objective was for them to develop their English writing skills, it soon became a powerful driver of both academic and personal growth. As their writing skills grew so did their confidence and I was so inspired by their accomplishments that I felt moved to create my own blog. Read my very first post here.

Initially, my posts consisted of reflections and celebrations from my ESL teaching experience and so my blog was appropriately titled "ESL Musings." However, as I developed as a globally connected educator I found my professional interests expanding and evolving. In January 2016, ESL Musings became Teaching Tidbits. I renamed my blog and purchased "teachingtidbits.com." but I didn't change the blogspot URL. Therefore, although my blog title reflected the change, the blogspot URL did not.

Fast forward to August 2017, I joined a new district and transitioned to an instructional facilitator role. That's when I lost my blogging voice. It's not that I'm not as reflective. Quite the contrary. The longer commute has given me lots of time to ponder and reflect. But frankly, there was so much newness last year- new, role, new school, new district- that I felt that I was in a season of intake. But I really miss blogging.

While I'm still growing in my facilitator role, I really miss sitting at the keyboard and mulling over my experiences. Sure, I could just keep a journal or enter my thoughts on a Google doc, but there's a creative part of blogging that I really enjoy. I don't care if my posts are read by a single person, but as a technology enthusiast, blogging makes me feel as if I accomplished something as I reflect. It also serves as my professional portfolio.

For 2019, I've decided to restart my blogging practice. Teaching Tidbits will now be housed at gonzalezteachingtidbits.blogspot.com and I'm changing this blog back to "ESL Musings."  It will be linked to my new blog so I can go back and read my old posts when I need a little inspiration.


There's still lots I'm taking in and I'm enjoying every bit. I'm forever learning and growing. Celebrating the minute as well as the grandiose. Living every moment to the fullest and sharing my reflections as I travel on this journey of teaching and learning, in the hopes that I may offer a tidbit of inspiration to those who read my pages.
May 2019 be the #BestYearEver

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Reflect Not Regret

Created on Pixteller
As I reflect on 2017, I must say that I wish I could hit the rewind button and change a few things. 

But I can't.

Most people that know me well will tell you that I am hopelessly optimistic.  I have learned to fail forward, to embrace my flaws, to see problems as opportunities and to make the sweetest lemonade out of the tartest of lemons. But we all go through rough times and for me, it was last year. While I have grown tremendously both professionally and personally through all this, I have to say that my faith and my optimism have been tested. 

My decision to move districts to what I perceived as a growth opportunity, didn't turn out to be what I expected. I then tried to return to my former post but was not able to do so. On the bright side, a casual conversation with a colleague led to my current role. And while I'm still growing in my new position, I feel I am heading in the right direction and believe things are going to work out for the best.

I'm not going to share the details of my professional journey on this forum. However, through all this, I've learned some important life lessons and I'll share them below in the hopes that others will learn from them too.

Speak up when you think someone is about to make a wrong move.
Don't tell people what they want to hear, tell them what you know. Only after I made my move and expressed my regret did colleagues come out of the woodwork and agreed that my previous district was a better fit for me. But rather than sharing insight prior to my leap, they kept it to themselves because they didn't want to step on my toes. They could have spoken, but they didn't.

Listen carefully to those that do speak up.
Professional changes have personal and family implications. When people who know you well, express their hesitations, don't dismiss their comments. Rather talk with them and listen intently to their concerns. Family and close friends often see things we miss in the midst of the excitement and sense when things are not quite right. I should have listened when my daughter told me to not make the jump, but I didn't.

When in doubt, don't do it.
Risk is always scary and it's expected to feel uneasy before taking any leap, but if you are more nervous than excited, trust your instincts. If only I would have followed my gut, but I didn't.

Choose to reflect, not regret.
My head has been spinning with all the coulda, woulda, shoulda. But rather than drowning in my regret, I choose to reflect and move forward. Undoubtedly, I could have made different choices. I should have talked to and listened to more people. If only I would have thought my decisions more carefully, I would have avoided some speed bumps. But I didn't and what's done is done. Looking back will not make my ride any smoother. 

All I can do now and is get back on the road and keep moving forward believing that God will work all of this together for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And so my word for 2018 is "forward."

May 2018 be our best year yet!