There’s nothing like the squealing shrieks of a 6-year-old girl to make you jump out of bed, heart racing, at 5:30 AM on a Thursday morning! As I hurry to the kitchen, I see my daughter, Rayni, jumping up and down excitedly while giggling in a way that only she can. Sparkle, our Christmas elf, had truly outdone herself. While we had all been sleeping, she crept into each of our bedrooms and took sneaky selfies with our snoozing family. As Rayni rushed to show my husband, Gary, and talked about all of her friends at school she couldn’t wait to share this with, I felt a small, proud mom moment creep in. Somehow, between completing a paper for my masters, revising my keynote, and swapping work day stories with Gary, we had been able to pull off some elf magic!
To say that life has been crazy lately would be an understatement. Being selected as the 2017 Florida Teacher of the Year, having a baby, moving into our new house, working on my masters, traveling around the state, developing presentations, mentoring a teacher, and starting a peer mentor program with my district have demanded the need for organizational, research, and growth mindset skills that are, honestly, still a work in progress. It would seem that the holiday break could serve as a much needed time to relax, but I know that if I don’t take advantage of my “down time” I can’t truly be at my best later on down the road; a lesson I’ve learned as a classroom teacher.
So in between our yearly stay at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground, enjoying a family meal at Hoop-De-Doo, and singing Christmas carols while we sip on hot chocolate, I plan on working in some holiday homework.
I’m always in need of growth, both as a mom and as a teacher. I’m looking forward to spending some time catching up on some reading when my kids go to sleep instead of giving in to my Law and Order binge watching addiction.
Here’s what’s on my reading list:
1. Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
2. Teach Like a Champion 2.0 by Doug Lemov
3. “Is It Cheaper to Pay Monthly or Annually?” for Disney tickets lesson by Robert Kaplinsky
4. Catch up on Missional Motherhood Bible Study by Gloria Furman
5. Reread “7 Ways to Survive the Teacher Mom Struggle” from Teach Outside the Box!
It’s a pretty ambitious reading list, but I know that if I don’t make the commitment to spend time reading after gift giving, craft making, and holiday cooking, I’ll spend my nights scrolling through Facebook or pinning future epic Elf on the Shelf ideas!