Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Note: Would you like to hear a podcast of this blog post? If so, click here for the podcast version or read my message below.

Happy New Year! The past year has been wonderful for me, and I’m excited to see what 2011 has in store! Each year is more phenomenal than the one before, so this one is bound to be terrific! Last January I was in the classroom and had no idea that I would be taking a year off to explore new horizons, so who knows what this year will bring?

When I started my blog, I decided to call it “Laura’s Voice” because I hoped it would be a way to share my thoughts and views. Ironically, up until now, most teachers who knew me through the internet had never even heard my voice!

So it seems fitting to start 2011 by sharing my message using my real voice in my very first podcast. I imagine that this will prove to be just a baby step for me because I’m already making plans to add video clips, live online training, screencasts, and more to the Teaching Resources site.

Thinking back on 2010, one of the most important lessons I learned was about the power of gratitude. I discovered that gratitude is an amazing thing – it not only has the power to change our own lives, but it can have a tremendous impact on others. When we choose to look for things that please us and we express appreciation for those things, we magically find our lives filled with even more things to appreciate! When we share our appreciation with others, we have the power to lift their spirits and help them see their own potential. This is true in the classroom as well as in our personal lives. Gratitude truly does have the power to transform.

So what am I thankful for this first day of 2011? The entire list would fill dozens of pages, so in the interest of time and space, I’ll mention just a few.

First of all, I appreciate the educators who are a part of my online community. You share your ideas and insights with me through email, in discussion groups, and on Facebook. You continue to inspire me with your creativity, dedication, and generosity. It’s through you that I’ve learned about the web 2.0 tools that will allow me to connect and collaborate with people in ways I never dreamed possible. As an avid reader, I’m also grateful for the books you’ve shared with me, books that have renewed my passion for teaching, learning, and living.

So what’s my new year’s resolution? It’s simply to spend more time appreciating all that’s good in my life and to take time to express my gratitude to others. With all that I have to be thankful for, I’m thinking that this will be one of the few resolutions that I actually keep!

What do you most appreciate about your life in 2010? What most excites you about the coming year? As always, I look forward to your responses!