It’s Christmas Eve! Steph and I are back in Huddersfield with my family. We’re enjoying the festivities, the short daylight hours and the novelty of being cold. I’ve had some lovely Christmases abroad, but there’s nowhere I’d rather be at this time of year.
Just like last year, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all a very merry Christmas. Or, as my jumper states, “Feliz Navidog”. I’m more than happy to once again dedicate an entire blog post to this. It is my annual opportunity to share my appreciation to those who not only read my blog but value it enough to follow it. Blogging continues to be my most valued and beneficial hobby because of the teachers around the world who care about what I have to say. Like I said last year, you give me a voice.
I have always appreciated the contributions from you, which is why I continue my commitment to reply to every comment. As my blog builds its audience and the comments become much more frequent, this is often hard to keep up with. However, I strongly believe that the comments enhance my blog posts and deserve a response and some recognition. I also value these interactions as a way of getting to know you. As long as I write, and however time-consuming it becomes, I will always respond to you. Please continue to add your thoughts and ideas to my blog posts. They really do add value.
2017 has been a fantastic year for me professionally. As we approach its conclusion, I look back at my achievements to date and ahead to some of the projects that are lined up for 2018. I secured my current role of Head of Year, I was nominated for a UK Blog Award (shortlisted finalists will be announced soon – fingers crossed), I worked towards and submitted my application for Google Certified Trainer and I have been offered a place at the University of Bath to study for a Master’s Degree (MA Education – Educational Leadership and Management) part-time through distance learning. At this point last year, I had no plans or expectations for any of these achievements, which makes me excited about the unconceived possibilities of 2018.
I was recently called an “achiever” on Twitter by @JKulandairaj. As kind and flattering as this comment was, I don’t see it this way. I define myself as a “risk-taker”, “trier” and “lifelong learner”. For every achievement, I could list several mistakes. I fail more than I achieve, which is totally fine. Blogging has given me the confidence to strive forward and reach higher. I believe that blogging helps me to become a better teacher and is therefore responsible, directly or indirectly, for the successes that come my way. I once again thank you all. Behind this blog is a shy, introverted boy who often lacks confidence. You have no idea how much your support and encouragement mean or how much impact they have.
On the topic of achievements, one stands out that is way more significant and impressive than the ones listed above (it has nothing to do with teaching). If ever you needed proof that anything is possible, here it is: I haven’t eaten chocolate since 2016. As an over-indulgent chocoholic, I needed some restrictions and self-control, so I set myself the challenge of going a whole year without. I made it through Easter, my birthday and even a chocolate museum in Peru. I now face my biggest challenge yet: Christmas. As you stuff your faces with chocolate this festive season, spare a thought! I still have a week to go.
This New Year’s Eve, I’ll be watching the fireworks in London (with a chocolate bar in every pocket) waiting for Big Ben to officially ring in 2018. Here’s to a fantastic new year! To all of my followers, I wish each and every one of you a lovely Christmas and all the very best for 2018. Thank you.