Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crushing Goals in the First Month

Disclaimer: I started writing this post the last week of July. I have been busy with returning to school and completing goals, that I have not taken the time to sit down to finish. It's time for the next update. LOL! 

As many of you know, I am in the midst of completing 45 goals by June, 2018. During the first month, I have been able to complete 3 goals, planned 2 goals, and have 5 other goals in progress. 

The Infamous Vision Wall

The first goal completed was establishing an educational mentor. I had a couple people in mind who could possibly fulfill this role. The first person I spoke to about being my mentor is my college friend, Tasha. We have been keeping tabs on each other since our college days. Our lives have many similarities including both of us becoming teachers as a second career. 

Our boys are in a leadership program together. They had an event and I went to pick up my son one evening from Tasha's home. I told her about my vision wall and the goals. I asked her to become my educational mentor. She was hesitant at first. However, I was able to convince her to do it. She has been an unofficial mentor anyway. She agreed and told me she was going to push me. 

2 of the 3 goals completed in the 1st 30 days

It wasn't quite June 20th. So I hadn't posted my wall yet, even though it was done. I already had one of my goals completed! YAY!!!! As you can see the card was changed to a white card. As I complete the goals, the card is changed to white with the date of completion.

As you can see, I also received my passport. It came in the mail while I was home on vacation. It was officially the 2nd goal I completed. Now, it is time to book some out of the country trips.

Goal 3 done! 
This summer has been hectic. I worked almost every day in June. Who said teachers have the summer off? With that pace, I knew the only way to take a break was to leave town. I went home for almost 3 weeks. I have not been home that long since being in college. It made it very easy to crush my goal of visiting 2 childhood friends. I actually saw 6 people and NOT the 2 I just knew I would see. I was so busy enjoying home, that I did not take pictures with all 6 people, but I did get two with my protectors.

In addition to completing 3 goals, I have made some progress on a few more. 

Planned: Girls' Getaway in August and New York Broadway show in January
In Progress: Gratitude Posts, Writing a Book, Purge part of the garage, Blog 45 times, Google Classroom Certified
I can't wait to report next month's growth! I know at least 2 more will be completed and more progress on a few others! Let's go! Let's go!!!!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Vision Goal - African American Museums

One of the goals on the Vision Wall is to visit at least 5 African American museums in the 45th year of life. Immediately, I thought of three I could visit with some ease. There's the fairly new Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta. I've been wanting to visit it since it opened. There's the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. I've told myself that I would stop on one of my rides home, but never did it. It's a must! Then there's the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. I plan to make it a weekend when I visit Man-Child at school.

As I was discussing my wall with one of my friends, she mentioned the center in Macon. That is not too far from me and we have another friend who lives there. It is the Tubman Museum. If I remember correctly, my friend in Macon mentioned it as well. So that means it's time for a trip to Macon. I probably will head there in September. 

There are a few places I would love to revisit for a renewed appreciation. There is the Apex Museum and the Hammonds House both in Atlanta. I don't think I have visited either place since I graduated from college. I need to change it. In fact, I need to spend the day just exploring that area of town all over again. I was in the area on Saturday and made the comment to my line sister. We needed to be tourists right there in all that history. I could visit more than 5 historical sites just in a 5 mile radius of our meeting place. 

As I was creating this blog, I googled and found a great list of museums if you are interested. You may have a gem in your own backyard to explore. Or you may even find a reason to visit a nearby city.  

Just for my Dancing Diva, I have a timeframe for this goal. I plan to complete this one in the 3rd quarter. So, check on me by September 30th! 

Ordered Steps

Many of my non-virtual friends know I started a new position right after the Thanksgiving break 2015. I kept meaning to write about it over the holidays. It is a great example of the manifestation of having goals and a vision board.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 states Then the Lord answered me and said, "Write the vision. And engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets so that the own who reads it will run. For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time. It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, because it will certainly come; it will not delay. (Amplified Version)

In late October, I received a text from a former coworker, "Hey! Are you still interested in being a math coach?" I hadn't heard from this friend in a few months. He had taken a promotion in another county. I replied, "Yep, or a graduation coach position." He quickly replied, "I'm at an assistant principal's meeting. Another school is looking for a math coach. Send her your resume'. I can guarantee you an interview. You will have to win the job!" ORDERED STEP

I immediately called him to get the details. Apparently, he was talking with to one of his frat brothers. Since they are Omega men and I am a Delta, he was asking the other AP did he know me. In the description of me, he stated I was a math teacher and coach (basketball) at his old high school. The words "math" and "coach" peaked the ears of a woman sitting at the next table. She was another AP at a different high school. She was looking for a math coach. She was looking for a strong math teacher or a math coach. They had a conversation that prompted his initial text to me.

I sent her my resume'. As soon as she read it, she sent me an email for three different possible interviewing days. Since I had an appointment on one of those days, I took the day off to handle both. I shared the information with my assistant principal. She wished me the best and wrote a glowing reference. ORDERED STEP

I went to the interview with the mindset of this will be a great chance to take notes on the type of questions to expect in future interviews. This was the 1st time I have interviewed for an educator's position. My volunteer work and my work as a new educator opened the doors for the previous positions. (That's a nugget of someone). I knew they were looking for a math coach. I haven't had that experience by title. I have mentored newer teachers before, but never with the title. However, I knew I was definitely in preparation for the next level.

I didn't tell many people about the interview. As mentioned, my immediate supervisor knew (but not my principal), my basketball coaches, my mother, and a few people in my inner circle. Maybe 7 or 8 people total. That morning I received a text message from an unsaved number, " Good luck on your interview today." Since the number was not saved, I did not know who sent the message. I didn't want to say, "Who is this?" Therefore, I responded, "Thank you! I will let you know how it goes."

The normal process is to interview followed by the waiting process. I interviewed with the assistant principal and another leader in the building. The questions felt like they were tailored made for me. Many of the questions they asked were of situations I had dealt with at my current school. I was able to offer them tangible solutions to some of their current problems.  We were literally nodding as the other was talking. As the conversation progressed, I felt very comfortable with the interview. She mentioned they were working with a school improvement specialist from the state. She was especially working with them in the area of math. She stated the specialist name. I almost fell out of my seat. The specialist was my former math coordinator who had left about 6 months before and currently was THEIR school specialist! Many of my answers to the questions were based on my experience with working with her. My solutions to their questions were the same solutions she had mentioned to them. ORDERED STEP

At the end of the interview, she told me they would make a decision soon. Then she looked at the other lady and asked me to wait outside. At that moment, I knew they were going to offer me the job. ORDERED STEPS

I waited about five minutes. During that time, I met another assistant principal. We made small talk as I waited. When she came out, he said, "I recommend her for the job." She looked at him and started laughing. She stated, "I guess he stole my thunder. I would like to offer you the position of math academic coach."

As soon as I left, I called my assistant principal who is my immediate supervisor. She was just as excited as I was. She questioned, "So what are you going to do? You know you can't NOT take the job. This is the next step for you in your educator's walk." I knew she was right. I knew it was a job I could do with some training/guidance. But I was conflicted because I would have to leave my babies and my team in the middle of the year. I was the department chair and over several other clubs and teams. She knew what I was thinking. She quickly said, "We will be fine! If you died today, they will look for your replacement tomorrow. So are you going to tell the principal or do you want me to tell him?"

With educators, it can be tricky to get out of your contract in the middle of the year. A principal can make it hard, especially if you are involved in many extra duties. The next day at work, I spoke with my principal. He was upset that I had an interview without telling him. He wanted to know how they could offer me a job without even speaking with him. Initially, he said I couldn't take the position because I was under contract. I reminded him that if I received a new job that was a promotion in position or pay, I could get out of the contract. This was both! He then told me that I couldn't get out of my contract without him having a replacement for me. He was not having a valuable math teacher leave without someone in place. I told him that he had about three weeks to find a replacement and I would help in the search.

He asked about my student teacher from the year before. I told him the principal from a nearby school asked me for a reference. He immediately called her and offered her my job. She agreed to take it because she was familiar with my style of teaching and my students' routines. I turned my official letter of resignation and h      e accepted it. A week later, she decided she did not want my old job. Since my resignation was accepted, he could not hold me back. ORDERED STEP


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Big 45

Many people use January 1st to create New Year's resolutions with many of them forgotten by January 31st. No judgement. I'm guilty as well. One time, my friend LadyLee shared with me her thoughts about resolutions versus setting goals in January. Resolutions are created but few really make a commitment to seeing them come to fruition. They make us feel good about making them because we get caught up with the hope and newness of a new year. However, when you set a goal, you set your mind to accomplish it. It made total sense to me. Ever since that conversation, I have set at least one goal every January for the calendar year. I would evaluate and make adjustments in June which is my birthday month (new year of my life).

I am turning 45 this year. People remember my celebrating 40 years in 40 days. That had them waiting for what I was planning for 45. Instead of having 45 days of activities, I created 45 goals to complete before I turn 46. My goals came in spurts; I worked on them for about a month. The goals range from taking a day to complete to taking almost the year. I solicited some of my friends to give me some ideas. Some I utilized, others I tweaked, and a few was not happening! I do appreciate all of their help to make this task become a reality.

It was a great process. Initially, I was planning to just write 45 goals on a piece of paper or in a notebook. But if you know my friends, they were not going to let it be that basic. One of my friends suggested I write them on index cards and stick them on my wall. As I completed them, take them down. That got the creative juices flowing. Instead of just putting them up randomly and taking them down, we came up with writing each goal on a colored index card. The cards are arranged into the number 45. As each goal is completed, I will cover it with a plain white index card. I will take a picture monthly, preferably on the 20th, to have a pictorial progression of achieving my goals.

Here is some pictures of me getting it together. I actually put my wall up at the end of May. I keep saying instead of having a vision board, I have a vision wall!

Getting the 45 just right

The Vision Wall is right outside of my bedroom

My nephew assisted me with putting it on the wall. It was great opportunity for us to talk about setting goals and having accountability partners. We read each goal with him wanting to have some of the same goals. For instance, he has decided we are going to learn how to swim together. He even wrote his name on that card to accept the role as my accountability partner.

Speaking of accountability partners, I have asked my friends to select at least one of my goals to hold my feet to the fire. I have added an explanation point to the 45 to track my goals with repeated actions. For instance, I want to read 8 books for pleasure. I will list the title and date of completion of each book. If you see a goal you want to assist me, please let me know!

The amazing thing is Habakkuk 2:2 is already in full swing. One of the goals I wrote was a girls getaway. Literally within minutes of me placing it on the wall, a group of us was reminiscing about a trip we took 3 years ago. Someone said we were overdue. And just like that, the next one was planned for this summer.

With it being June 20th, I have started attacking my goals. This is blog #1 of 45 for the next 365 days. I plan to blog about this experience throughout the year. Feel free to come back to check on my progress. Better yet, grab a goal and work it out with me! Let's enjoy this ride together.

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