Jan. 10, 2023

New Year Goals and Reflections - E109

New Year Goals and Reflections - E109

This week, we are back and reflecting on the 2022 year. We'll chat about what we've struggled with and what we've learned as well as what our goals are  for the new year. 

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Featured Content
**For detailed show notes, please visit our website at https://edugals.com/109**

  • We're back to our weekly schedule!
  • 2022 has been a challenging year - personally and professionally
  • Lots of change and transitions - admin changes, role changes
  • Change can be mentally and physically exhausting
  • Saying no and asking for help, when needed
  • Work-life balance is important
  • Checking email and notifications - switch off after work hours!
  • It's just a job
  • New iPad app: Freeform (similar to Jamboard)
  • What we're reading
  • Ride to Conquer Cancer
  • Goals for EduGals - consistency, sharing our learning, book club episodes, hit 150 episodes
  • Successes - 100 episodes, joining the Education Podcast Network, presenting at ISTE
  • Modern Classrooms Project Podcast - E116 with Rachel
  • Some favourite past episodes - mastery-based learning, ungrading
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Transcript
Rachel:

In this episode, we are back and chatting about some of our goals and reflections for the new year.

Katie:

Yeah. We'll talk a little bit about what we've learned through the course of 2022 and kind of what goals we plan to implement for the year.

Rachel:

let's get started. This week Katie and I are back and we are here to chat about kind of what's been going on and what some of our reflections are over the past year, as well as some of our goals for the new year.

Katie:

Yes. So you may have noticed that we've been a little bit absent lately. Um, We've both been kind of dealing with some different things in our personal lives that have made. everything a little bit challenging and so some things had to give and so we kind of took a bit of a break, but um, we're back in hoping that we can stay strong and continue on our weekly schedule.

Rachel:

Yeah, for sure. It's been challenging, but, you know, I'm, I'm so grateful we're back to doing this and I've really kind of missed that podcasting aspect of our, our weekly sort of chat. So yeah, we're, we're excited to be back.

Katie:

Yes, very excited. So we thought that today we would, um, we would do an episode kind of, because it's the new year, it's 2023. We are starting a fresh new year. Um, And wanted to share some of our hopes and goals and some of the things we've learned over the past year. So let's talk about 2022, what we've learned about ourselves or professionally, and then um, move forward to how we're going to change and things we want to accomplish.

Rachel:

Looking back on 2022, like, wow, it's, it's been a year.

Katie:

Yeah. Yeah. If, if I were able to swear, I would However, we're gonna keep this clean in terms of language. It has been a very challenging year in so many ways, professionally, personally. Just the chaos of it all.

Rachel:

Yeah. And I've had a lot of change. Especially professionally over the year, because I started out my year in a coaching role. I'm now back in a school, back in a classroom, so there's, there's been a lot of ups and downs with returning back to. my school, mostly apps. But there have been some challenges and I think it's partly just that transition of coming back, transition back into my leadership role. And you know, when I left our, even our administrative folks were, were different, right? Like it was a different principle when I left, as compared to now different set of vice principles even. And so it's, it's been a lot of me almost relearning my role, which is kind of strange, right? But it's relearning. some of the processes that maybe have changed a little bit since I've been there. and really just getting back into it, I almost feel like I'm a department head for the first time again, which is strange.

Katie:

I always find that when you have new administration, it is relearning, right? Because you're building relationships and, and not everybody knows who you are professionally and personally. And so there is that kind of change and new and the need to kind of. Build that again and relearn. We have, we have two new administrators as of September as well. And it's the same. And I hate talking about myself and the things that I do, and, but it's awkward because I'm like, I should tell them I do this, this, this, this, this. Because then they can lean on me as needed. But I'm also very modest and humble and don't wanna talk about it Like I just told my principal that I podcast in my free time, and I just told him at the end of December, like the, like one of the last days before the break, and I'm. Maybe he knows, maybe he doesn't, but maybe I'll talk about myself a little bit.

Rachel:

I'm pretty sure mine knows

Katie:

Oh, yes. No, they most definitely know And so I, I do have to agree like there's been a lot of change and a lot of relearning. I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it's kind of kept me on my toes a bit, but it's been exhausting. Starting in September in particular, I found that this year has just gone at such a break. Next speed it feels very. What's the word I'm looking for? Hectic, chaotic, like, it doesn't feel like it's a pace that we can continue indefinitely.

Rachel:

Yeah, agreed. And I took on a lot this year and so, you know, coming back into a classroom after being out for a couple years, coming back to a leadership role, coming back to a new curriculum for a grade nine course coming back, you know, like there, there's been a lot. There's been a lot. And. I've had some health things on top of it too, but I think one of the things I've really sort of learned over the past few months about myself is that I'm getting better. I'm not gonna say I'm good at this yet, yet, because I am still learning. I am getting better at one, saying no when I need to, and two. Asking for what I need and knowing to ask for help when I need help. And that's been like for anyone who knows me, who knows me personally, like that, asking for help is not something I normally do. I normally just, you know, put my nose to the, to the ground and I figured out. But you know, I've needed some of that this year and. for example, you know, I, I switched the timetable for a second semester so that I'm teaching the same courses again, and I went and just asked to be able to do that a couple of weeks ago because, you know, I just needed to bring down the stress related to, to teaching, but, You know, past years, I wouldn't have ever done that. I wouldn't have even thought to do that. But, really quite proud of myself that I had the courage to, to go and have that conversation.

Katie:

Yeah, that can be very hard. So good job on that.

Rachel:

it's a learning process and it's, it's something that I'm really kind of working on this year and, and one of my goals kind of going forward is to make, make sure that I'm, I, I continue to, you know, put myself first and, and ask for what I need.

Katie:

I've also been getting better at that and I think it was forced because of everything that's going on currently. But I knew that, and I know that I can't handle all of the extras that I've been doing because I'm already spread pretty thin and. Balancing everything well, you understand? And so it's been challenging and so I have actually said, look, I need to step back from this for now. I know I'm not going to do a good job of it if I try to balance it all. So I'd love for you to, you know, give me a bit of a break and a bit of leeway here and let's get somebody else in this role until I am willing to, or able to kind of bring it all back and balance it again. And that was for like, one of the lead roles that that we have for equity. But I just, I knew I couldn't do it and I knew I couldn't maintain it. So and I don't wanna do equity and justice like it, it already feels like there's so much injustice. Why am I gonna go ahead and keep this role but not do it well?

Rachel:

No, I, I totally agree. And so yeah, that it's definitely something that I'm going to continue working on this next year, and it's, it's definitely one of my goals is to make sure I'm stopping, reflecting, recognizing. you know what, what I need, and just asking for it and not being afraid to ask for it.

Katie:

yep. I agree. So, one thing that I've learned this year, so. 2022 is a mix of school years. And so last school year, from January through to June, I found I was so anxious. There were so many like things going on with my students and their lived experiences and them needing help and lots of trauma. So secondary trauma, compassion fatigue that I was feeling by the end of June. And so one thing I kind of started off my year with was, I'm not gonna check my work email at at night. So when I leave school and get home, I leave that at the door. So I'm not going to be doing that. And I've actually been pretty good. And I have found that it's made such a big difference in my home life, in my anxiety levels and my stress in general. So I'm not sitting there thinking, is somebody gonna email me tonight? What's gonna happen? What's gonna be, what do they need? Like, what's happening? So, It's, I think it's made a big difference, and I think I'm better for it, and so I'm gonna try to keep doing that, which it can be challenging, especially if you're in a leadership position, but I, I need that balance. I need that cutoff time where I'm like, Nope, now I'm going home. I'm a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, et cetera, and those are the rules that I'm going to happen.

Rachel:

some words that my principal said to me. actually just a couple weeks ago, is it's just a job.

Katie:

Yeah.

Rachel:

And I think we really need to remember that is yes, it's just a job and a lot of us, you know, take on, it's almost like it becomes a, a part of your identity, right? And becomes a part of who you are. You are an educator, you are a teacher, and you see yourself as that. And so you. All of your energy, blood, sweat, and tears into it. But you need to remember, you are also a mother, you're also a sister or a brother or like knowing that this is just a job.

Katie:

And that's something that we learned quite intimately at my school this past year. Cause we lost two teachers. Two of our teachers died. And it was a really harsh reality check when, you know, the next day we're replacing them and, and we are replaceable and we need to be, and I understand that. But like this, the emotional side of things where you build these connections with these people and you have those relationships. It's hard to see us replaced so quickly and easily as if we never were there.

Rachel:

Yeah. We lost a teacher at our school at the beginning of the year or two. And you're right, it's just I've, I've talked to some in that department, you know who it, who it truly affected and it's just, it's crazy. you are replaceable though, and again, I, I see the need and, and understand the need to have that,

Katie:

yeah. It's hard. And so I think that kind of reinforces this whole, is just a job. We can pour ourselves into it while we're there, but we still need parts of us and our energy and who we are when we leave those, those classrooms at the end of the day.

Rachel:

Yeah. And so it's, it's kind of funny because we were chatting about this before we hit record and Katie was telling me, you know, that she's not checking her work email. And that's something I've been doing or at least been trying to do for years now, is I got to a point and I wonder if it's because of that leadership role, right? I got to the point where I was getting stressed out by every single email I was getting, and I noticed like as I was getting the dings and whatever on my phone, you know, I might be sitting there at night with my husband watching TV or whatever. It was stressing me out and giving me so much anxiety that I made a decision to turn off all the notifications on my phone, and that is for pretty much everything other than like my messages app or my phone or like, I am very, very selective of what notifications I turn on. and that does help a lot. It doesn't stop me from going to check my email, but at least I feel in control about when I go and check my email. Then I need to get better at the that, just not checking my email after work hours. Like that one's a tough one for me, but at least I have a sense of control of, okay, I'm checking my email. Like if I get stressed out from this thing, it's my fault and it's on me

Katie:

I will tell you, it is life changing.

Rachel:

I know. Well, it was life changing just to turn off all the notifications, so I can imagine.

Katie:

Oh yeah, even more. Let me tell you, it's funny because I think an extension of checking my email. So yes, I check in on my phone, but I also check it on my computer. So as soon as I open my computer, cause I often don't shut down often. My, my, Chrome for my work account is always open and so then I'm always looking. And so I've actually, like I not very often even opening my computer when I get home. And so I was telling Rachel like, we've been off for what, a week and a bit, and today was the first time that I opened my computer, which is actually kind of amazing and shocking all at once.

Rachel:

Now, I have opened my computer quite a bit, but I haven't actually done work work, which is good, and that's very unusual for me. Normally I work my butt off during holidays even, and I just, I needed the break this year and. That doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it because I am constantly thinking about, well, about some conversations I had before the break, which have kind of been top of mind. But then also uh, some of the books I've been waiting to read, I've been able to read and they're spurring all these new kind of creative ideas for me for second semester. So I've been jotting those down. I've been using the new app on iPad called Free. have you tried freeform out yet on your iPad? It is amazing. So it's like Jambo Jamboard on steroids. It's, it's awesome. so it's an Apple app, but it's like a big Jamboard. But you can not only write on there with your Apple pencil and um, add an images and stuff like that, but you can also drop links in there and YouTube videos in there. And, All kinds of really cool stuff. So I've been, you know, jotting down notes in there as I've, cuz I wanted to kind of play with the app while I've been doing some of my reading.

Katie:

Good to know. I'll have to check that one.

Rachel:

But yeah, I've just been doing a lot of reading

Katie:

I've been do, doing a lot of reading, but for fun,

Rachel:

Yeah.

Katie:

think that's part of my coping mechanism with everything is to escape into a book. And just do it for fun, not for any sort of reason beyond.

Rachel:

I need to get back into fiction. Like I, I love reading non-fiction and I read a lot of, I don't know, I read a lot of self-help books, which is not necessarily great, right? If you're just reading them and then not

Katie:

Yep.

Rachel:

it into practice. I mean, I get lots of ideas and then, yeah, and then it doesn't, it doesn't happen. I think the one that stuck with me the most maybe, is Atomic Habits. I read that this past year and that's great, and that's actually helped me to adopt some good habits this past year. So, one of them being strength training. I am still strength training pretty much every single day of the week. I keep it small though. I keep it to something that I can do in like 15, 20 minutes, and so I just do a couple of exercises, but over the week it adds up and it's been, it's been awesome.

Katie:

I think so on that note, one of my goals is quite a few years back, I can't remember if I only have my one child or two, but my husband and I did the ride to conquer cancer and he does it every year. I think this year I want to do some more road bike training and getting back into the habit of things. And I think my goal will be to do the ride to conquer cancer.

Rachel:

Nice. And when does that happen?

Katie:

in June, so I have six months to kind of get back into shape and uh,

Rachel:

not, that's doable. That's

Katie:

yeah, I think so. I think so. And it's a lot of fun actually. It's done over two days and you ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls. And the energy, the energy of everybody kind of coming together and, and doing it and knowing it's for such a good cause of cancer research is. Something that's near and dear and uh, I think it's, think it's a good personal goal for this year.

Rachel:

Love it.

Katie:

Yeah.

Rachel:

So what goals do we have for EDU gals in the podcast?

Katie:

I think that part of our goal is to be consistent in the new year, Um, obviously dependent on life and how things go but I think it's furthering our learning so that we can share more. I, I bought a lot of Education related books and based on kind of our conversations over the last little while. And so I do wanna do some more reading and reflecting on how it kind of fits into my classroom and, and kind of try out some new things that we can then share with our audience.

Rachel:

Yeah, I think it'd be really fun to take some of those books we read and have episodes dedicated to them. So I'm thinking of like, one that I just finished reading that Katie was waving at me on the screen a few minutes ago was, uh, why don't students like school? And that was a fantastic read and, and really, really good. I'm also thinking, thinking classroom. it's for mathematics, but like, it's, it's good for any subject. And, and that one's great. I also just finished reading a um, implementing Mastery Learning Mastery Based Learning book by Thomas Guskey. And that one just came out in October and that's the one that's kind of like spurred a bunch of ideas for me over the break. And it was a good one to read for me and, and we won't g get into too much here, but uh, it confirmed some things that I was thinking and doing in my classroom and then also gave me some ideas to make it. So that's a fun one. And they actually referenced the Modern Classrooms project in there once, so I'm like, oh, that's exciting.

Katie:

Yeah, so I think that that's actually a fantastic idea. So kind of doing a bit of a, almost like a book club where we kind of share some of our thoughts and reflections on what we've been learning and reading. And then you, our listeners can either decide to embrace and read one or take some of the learning that we've done to help you goals. What else do you think for Ed?

Rachel:

I guess one of our other goals then is to hit 150 episodes. Like I think that's, that's sort of our next milestone to go for, and we are on our way there. Like it's, it's a little surreal to us that this past year that we hit a hundred episode. and every time we say one, oh, you know, whatever. As, as our episode number, we, we are constantly like looking at each other going, oh my God, I can't believe we're already in the one hundreds. But I think 150 episodes is a realistic and, and great goal to have for us for this upcoming year.

Katie:

Yeah. I think that's definitely something we can achieve, but it's exciting and scary all at once. I didn't really know when we started off how long it would. We would keep recording and how long it would last. Cuz it was kind of one of those, like we started this during Covid as like a, Hey, let's help you guys get started in this remote learning and see what we can share with, with people. But I've really liked how it's grown and, and changed over the years. I can't believe I can say years when I say that. Cuz this April will be three years.

Rachel:

And that's nuts and amazing and everything else. So yeah, like even thinking about some of our successes over this past year, we not only hit a hundred episodes, we joined the Education Podcast Network. I was a guest on the Modern Classrooms Project podcast a few weeks ago. If you wanna go listen to that, we'll, we'll put that link in the show. I haven't listened to it yet, because I'm like, I don't know how, how I sound on it. But yeah, so, and, and we presented at Isti as well. Like we've had some really awesome successes for edgy gals this year. So I'm, I'm really excited to see where this New Year's gonna take us.

Katie:

Yeah, it's been an exciting year and I love it.

Rachel:

So I guess given all of those successes what has been maybe your favorite podcast episode, Katie, or, or episodes, if you can't pick just one that we've recorded over this past year.

Katie:

I've really liked the work we've done with regards to mastery based classrooms and even modern classroom. I think that those have been some of my favorites in that it's really kind of spurred some, some excitement and some motivation to kind of change my teaching practice and. I don't know better.

Rachel:

I would agree. Those are some of my favorites as well. As well as the ones that we've done on UN grading. And just looking back on that knowing that even there are companies like Moat out there who have listened to those episodes and. Gotten ideas from things that we've said about on greeting to make moat better and like, I just think that's really cool that we're having an impact out there in the world and that our conversations are helping to promote change, hopefully I think they are though. And you know, it's, it's, it's opening up those conversations. But I would say yeah, definitely. Some of the ones we've done on UN on grading have also been my favorite.

Katie:

And may I say that when we started two quiet, shy, introverted, individuals starting a podcast, I never would've thought that we would have an impact like we have. It's been very exciting and, and it's been such good growth for both of us in many ways, particularly in confidence in speaking with others and, and, yeah, no, it's been.

Rachel:

Yeah, for sure. I would, I would definitely echo all of those thoughts as well. And, just taking the past month or so off, I've, I've realized how much of an impact it has on me and how I need it in my life, right? So it's it's my outlet and love every minute of it and can't wait to keep continuing this.

Katie:

I know it's, it's been weird not recording and not having our weekly like conversations and chats and ketchup and venting and all of these wonderful, crazy things. So I'm, I'm very happy to be back at it.

Rachel:

Well, on that note, we're going to wrap up our conversation here today, and so you can find any of the links or resources we talked about here today in our show notes. You can access our show notes@edugals.com slash 1 0 9. That's edu G A l s.com/ 1 0 9.

Katie:

And if you like what you heard today, then feel free to share it with a colleague or a friend. And don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on any future content.

Rachel:

And as always, we'd love to hear from you. So what are some of your goals for this coming year? Or are there specific episode ideas or things that you wanna hear us talking about? As always, we'd love to hear from you. So you can go onto our flip at edu gals.com/flipgrid, or you can leave us a written comment on our website@edgygals.com.

Katie:

Thanks for listening and see you next week.