The school year is over for me. I know that many poor souls are still fronting up until the end of this week (is there a point?) but for me it’s the long stretch ahead, the one I’ve been waiting for. Time to wind down.
It’s been a strange end to the year for me in that I missed the last 4 days, and am now recovering from spectacular oral surgery, looking less like a hamster every day, and still turning sickly shades of yellow and blue (wish I had less yellow, more blue) down my face and neck. And now that the fear of losing feeling in the lip has been put to rest, I can think about the year, looking both back in time at events and learning, and forward to next year, planning new projects for 2009.
Funny how you don’t realise the extent of change until you stop to measure it. It was only May this year that I began this blog as part of a State Library of Victoria Web 2.0 PD initiative. During the course of the following 6 or so months I’ve learned many things – lots of how-tos and bits of technology – and I’ve acquired an online presence on Facebook, Twitter and NINGs. Most importantly, I’ve learned what it’s like to be part of a community of learners and educators, a community that never sleeps, always on the lookout for new ways of thinking, doing and sharing.
So, winding down…
Well, actually, it’s easier said than done. I know that I’m not as tired as many teachers, having escaped report writing (as a teacher librarian), and not having the exhausting face-to-face of constant classes, and that may be one of the reasons I’m not finding the winding down easy to do. Although, I think the main reason is the feeling of excitement which comes from new discoveries, possibilities and connections. Already I’m thinking about what I want to do next year (and I’m lucky to be co-teaching with two wonderful teachers), already I’m planning new ways of doing things in class, ways of engaging and challenging students, using technologies which will inspire creativity and authentic learning. And I’m reading, reading, reading other people’s ideas and experiences.
The best thing about holidays – if you still have any energy or brain capacity left, and amongst all the Christmas and New Year bustle – is the unregimented time for exploration. The joy of investigating new blogs, discovering people, and making connections, branching out and connecting those connections around the world, until gradually the world starts to shrink as your map is filled with people you know and relationships amongst these. How can you wind down when people ‘out there’ are posting great links, new ideas and articles which inspire and challenge?
Yesterday, I started looking at the Edublogs Awards 2008, and here are the categories for nomination:
15. Best class blog
As you browse those 16 categories, you’ll come to know a group of people you’ll admire and want to keep in touch with. These people have spent the time making transparent their learning journeys and acquired skills, not keeping these things to themselves but sharing with the world. I’m having difficulty in unwinding because there’s so much to read and enjoy!
Merry Christmas to all. Happy, safe holidays, good family and friend times, and take the time to do what nourishes you.