The past two weeks have truly been a whirlwind. On August 14th, we began our preservice week at school and this past Monday, August 21st, it was our first day of school for students. In other words, the last 2 weeks have been not only exciting but also exhausting, There is no tired like first week of school tired, right? 

That is why this week's blog post is so important- we cannot do it all so zooming in and determining a focus for the year for both our professional and personal lives is essential. We so often say that we don't have the time to do this, but during the last few months, I realized that I needed to make time for this.

Reviewing what are the ABCs of Transforming Learning are-

ABCs of Transforming Learning graphic

Two weeks ago, I shared a blog post called Y= Yield Better Digital Learning with these Tips. As we begin the school year, it can be easy to go directly into content (after all, we have so much of it to cover, right?) However, I believe that if we want our students to be better digital learners, we need to provide them first with a strong foundation using proper digital habits and also ensure that we, as educators, use tools to promote creation with them.

This week, we will focus on Z = Zoom in and Determine a Focus for the Year. As I shared in this post's introduction, there is an palpable excitement in the year as the school year begins. Along with that excitement, educators can also experience "first week tiredness" as our bodies adjust to the rhythm of being back at school.  We are full of idealism and it is super easy to overextend ourselves. We need to take a step back and determine a focus for the year,

Z = Zoom in and determine your focus for the year

Let's be honest- as educators, there are so many things we are asked to do. We are truly phenomenal multitaskers, right? So before we zoom in to determine a focus, we need to zoom out and do a brain dump of all of the ideas swimming around in our heads (There are so many, right?) This year, I choose to do this for both my personal and professional lives and added them to a Jamboard to get my process started.

Professional Goals

As you can see, I have a lot of professional goals. Between my day job as a tech coach and my Tannenbaum Tech business, I have lots on my to do list. So I took some time and examined what I put down on my Jamboard, as I did that, two of the sticky notes resonated the most with me. That doesn't mean the rest of the sticky notes are not important, rather by focusing on those two, it will help me reach the rest.

Personal Goals

This upcoming school year is a big one for our family. My daughter is a senior in high school and will graduate next June. That means we will be spending a lot of time this year looking and determining which college is best for her. My son is a senior as well but in college. He is finishing up his education and in May, he will also be graduating and entering adulthood. That also means that soon. my husband and I will be empty nesters. So when I had to focus on what would be my focus, I knew that I needed something that would enable me to fully enjoy all the amazing moments in store.

Zooming in Professionally and Determining a Focus

As I shared professionally, two sticky notes stuck out from my brainstorming- doing coaching cycles with my staff and family engagement. During the last school year,  I completed and earned both my ISTE Certification and my VSTE Certified Coach Certification. As I participated in both of these programs, the power of coaching cycles was evident. I had already been doing a lot of coteaching with my teachers, so the intentional planning behind a coaching cycle was a logical next step. In addition, family engagement was a huge focus for me during the last school year and I am excited to continue this journey this upcoming year.

Zooming in Personally and Determining a Focus

About four months ago, I reached out to my now health coach, Michelle Corbat. I am not sure what triggered it, but one day while looking at my Facebook feed, I saw one of her posts about getting healthy for the summer. Something compelled me to respond and on May 1, 2023, I began a new health journey. This was not my first health journey- I have started WW more times than 1 can count. Then, on May 8, 2023, I fell on a wet sidewalk and broke my right foot.  I am convinced that my weight at the time had a lot to do with this and decided while recovering from my broken foot, the one thing I could control was my nutrition.  In five days, I will reach the four month mark of my health journey. As of last Monday, August 21st, I have lost 37.5 lbs. I know that I am not yet at my goal, but I also know that my relationship with food has changed. I no longer crave sugar, drink caffeine every day, and am excited about a plate full of veggies. In addition, after my foot healed, I started exercising. I am starting Week 5 of Couch to 5K today and have been taking dance, yoga, and Barbell Strength classes at the gym. I now know that the best thing I can do personally is take care of me so that I can be there for all the amazing moments to come.

Next Steps

Take some time to see how zooming in and determining a focus can help you this year.

I would love to hear about how you plan to zoom in the comments.