Much like The Queen, I am in the habit of sharing my thoughts and feelings every Christmas. This blog post is my annual opportunity to personally thank my blog’s followers. On many occasions, I have written about blogging and why it is such a worthwhile activity for me. Blogging continues to have a positive impact on my personal and professional life, but none of it would be possible without those who support it. Michael Matera said it best:
“It’s not about the views – it’s about the viewers.”
To anyone who is considering any sort of content creation, I offer the same advice. Put simply, new comments excite me more than “Your stats are booming” notifications. It’s not about the numbers. Comments are my opportunity to engage with my teacher colleagues from around the world. The comment sections are positive spaces where we can continue discussions, debate ideas and build relationships. For me, that’s what it’s all about. For anyone who appreciates me and my blog, know that the appreciation is reciprocal.
2018 has been a wonderful year and 2019 promises to be equally exciting. I am thankful for all of the opportunities that my blog has offered. Over the summer, I marked my 30th birthday with a massive book giveaway, thanks to my friends at Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Celebrating my birthday in this way allowed me to add new teachers to my PLN while also thanking those who already add so much value to it. The organisation of the giveaway was actually a mammoth task, but it was worth every minute. It was a reminder of how good it feels to spread kindness and give. Every time I announced a winner, it made my day as well as theirs. This festive season, let’s keep this in mind and find more ways to raise smiles.
It was around the same time that I was enjoying the Hive Summit with Michael Matera. I was inspired by the summit’s commitment to Kiva. Due to everyone who supported and donated, Michael was able to raise lots of money for this non-profit organisation. This is what prompted my partnership with Room to Read. Through generous (and completely optional) donations, we have so far provided the gift of education to three children in Tanzania. What a lovely thought! Thank you to everyone who has donated. I’m proud that my blog is doing some good. Few gifts are more valuable than the gift of education. My aim is to raise US$500 eventually, offering this gift to ten children who need it. You can read more about this initiative here.
This brings me to the present. Steph and I are back in England and ready to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends. Our main plan is to relax, eat rubbish and be unapologetically lazy in front of the TV. I don’t need to switch off from school entirely but I do need to recharge the batteries after such a busy few months. I would encourage all teachers to do the same. ‘Relax’ means different things to different people. Whatever it means to you, do it! We’ve earned it! Our students deserve for us to be refreshed and re-energised in January. Remember:
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
I plan to catch up on a few jobs (especially university work) and get a head start on January’s tasks. I also have a couple of new STEAM gadgets that I want to explore before I integrate them in class. Chipping away at these things with absolutely no pressure attached is, to me, relaxing. I’m also enjoying Ditch Summit, so I’ll keep up with these video presentations as well (definitely check it out if you’re looking for some free PD over the holidays). Of course, I’ll be tweeting and blogging over the festive period because that’s what I enjoy doing. I don’t mind taking the occasional break from daytime TV but, rest assured, my priority is to relax!
Over the new year period, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of the UK Blog Awards public vote. The voting closes tomorrow (Christmas Eve). If you believe that Mr. Hill’s Musings deserves to be shortlisted, please vote here before it’s too late. Thank you very much!
To each and every one of you, thank you for all of your ongoing support, engagement and encouragement this year. I wish you and your family a happy, relaxing Christmas and all the very best for 2019.