What a year. It has been full of ups and downs with many ongoing, but also a very productive and positive year.
It started with a really positive vibe, being involved in my first year of competitive Dragonboat racing, personal stuff going well and looking forward to my first full year of work for a while. Life is not an easy road by any means and I seem to have a few cattle stops along the way, just to keep me on my toes and to make me remember what is really important in life. As the year went on there were times where life was not easy, but as always, I get through it. I wonder why we worry so much sometimes. It always seems to come right eventually.
Highlights for 2019:
I made it through the year at work. You may think that is not unusual, but for me it is. Having had concussion over the last couple of years, and cancer before then, it was a real achievement to make it through the whole year without being absent for medical reasons. Not that there wasn't yet another medical event in my life - my collision of my toes with the couch has become an ongoing problem, from April 8th to now, and ongoing until I see the surgeon next April - it's been a mission. Thankfully I have an amazing physio at Tower Junction Physio who made a diagnosis and is helping me cope until I can get it seen to.
Dragonboating. It's been a really great sport for me to be involved in. I enjoy the training and, because I am a little bit competitive, the competitions. I got my first ever trophy this year - very exciting. Hoping to get a medal of the gold variety in 2020 - working hard towards that. I think I really enjoy doing something for myself, not for others. Getting out on the water just takes me to another place and it's nice to have that escape from the world.
Our school production. It's a passion for me to do shows and I loved getting our ākonga and kaiako together to put on a production. My thanks have to go to Michael Sharp for writing his production of Kauri - the Giant of the Forest. It was the perfect show for us to start with and has inspired our ākonga to write their own for 2020. Looking forward to that.
Chile. Watching my daughter compete at the World Junior Karate Championships in Chile was amazing (read my blog here). I am so proud of what she has achieved and to be able to see her compete on the world stage was a real bonus.
Shows. I talk about our school show, but I have also seen a number of productions this year with both my son and daughter in them. So proud to see them up there performing, either on stage or in the band. They are both super talented and I'm looking forward to seeing more of their artistic talents on show over the coming years.
Haeata. I love this kura. I love working there. The people are passionate about changing education and we all work together to try and make things better for our ākonga. It is a real pleasure to work alongside these kaiako and I have learnt so much from so many of them. We do things so differently, but work so well together. An example of this was summed up well by Karyn in her blog which you can read here. I had some amazing letters from students who were leaving, which just reminded me of the important work we do in our community.
Conferences. I love learning. Being part of the NZ Microsoft Innovative Educator network is a real bonus. I learn a lot from them and love being around these inspiring educators. I enjoyed the Future of Learning conference as well - great to see what others are doing in the education and business space.
Challenges for 2019:
Staff changes. I think Karyn sums this up well with her words for Andy's farewell. I have found it quite hard this year with a number of original staff leaving, many in leadership and often those with whom I had a good bond with. It's not been easy and there have been many tears shed over the year. But as Karyn so clearly states in this blog, we still have the vision and that is why we went there in the first place.
Personal. Oh, there have certainly been some moments over the year. Some very personal, some very difficult. Some ongoing, some resolved. I think that I have grown as a person over the year to realise that I really have no control over anything. Life will happen around me and I need to be grateful for what I have, not for what I would like to have, or what I think should happen. I have been watching this Ted talk (Own your behaviours, master your communication) on repeat lately, getting my head around being in the chairs I want to be in. It's been a work in progress.
Work. It's not easy, what we are doing takes courage and commitment. Many people slam us when they can, and many just have no idea what we are doing but seem to have all the answers for us. I believe in what we do, it's just hard sometimes to enlighten others.
My foot. I'm actually quite over not being able to walk in bare feet for very long or wear sandals or nice shoes. I'm over the pain and the annoying exercises and strapping. I'm looking forward to next year to hopefully get it fixed in some way.
Looking forward to 2020:
Boma NZ Education Fellows Programme. Super excited to be part of this for 2020. I have some great ideas and I will be blogging about these as the year goes on. Looking forward to a trip to the USA in April as well. An amazing opportunity which I will make the most of.
Shows. Looking forward to finishing writing our own production for Haeata. To have our own ākonga write and perform this will be very special. I also have my own production to do. I am Musically Directing West Side Story for Kirwee Players in August. It will be good to be back musically directing again. It's been a while.
Dragonboating. I really want a gold medal this year. We got silver and bronze medals last year at the South Island and National Champs. I'm keen on gold. It's been good training hard and I feel I am improving all the time.
Work. Driving and supporting change in education. Learning more. Reflecting more. Working on improving my own practice.
Personal. More meditation. More exercise. More sitting in the purple chair.
So as Christmas day comes to an end, I've had a great day. I've cleaned the house and the pool, been for a walk, had a ham sandwich for lunch, written a song, written a blog and spent a lot of time reflecting on what has been and looking forward to what is to come.
Really, all I can do is live in the moment and that is what I am going to try and do more of.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.