A very happy new year to you all! 2021 has certainly arrived with a bang with the amount of cases we are now faced with. It is a frightening time but at the very least hope is on the way with the vaccine. We just need to try stay safe in the interim.
2020, despite everything, was a good year for me personally and professionally. Personally, my family have thus far escaped the virus unscathed which I believe is all anyone can ask for.
Professionally, I worked for another year with my ASD class and build on my knowledge and experience in this area. I witnessed children in my class grow and progress between September and March which was incredibly rewarding. I brought a group of children from my school to the ESB Science Blast in March, the week before schools closed- this was definitely a highlight of the short academic year.
I started a Masters last January with ICEP Europe on the area of Special and Additional Needs. I have found it busy and stressful at times but overall I am enjoying it. I have just one module and the thesis left to do and then I will have my MA hopefully all going well!
I spent the first couple of months of lockdown doing lots of CPD courses, and learned so much and improved my CV at the same time. I am glad in hindsight that I used the time wisely. It helped me professionally through providing me with new knowledge to support my class, and helped me personally through keeping my mind busy and enaged which helped me stop worrying about the virus.
In May I released a hard copy of my Primary Teacher Interview Book which sold out! I hope to update and re-release it this year.
I also released two short CPD courses myself over the summer, one on supporting children with ASD in the mainstream setting and the other on supporting teachers with the transition from a mainstream class to an ASD setting.
September was spent grappling and coming to terms with just how different school had become thanks to the virus. It was a big adjustment to our previous carefree ways. We managed thankfully in the first term to bring our class on a number of outings and excursions before the lockdown came back, I am so glad we had the opportunity to do that for the class before everything closed down again.
I redesigned my website in October and I am so happy with the end result.
In November I released two brand new products, The History of World War Two and a novel study of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
December was spent trying frantically to meet a number of deadlines for projects which are due to be released this year- more on that later!
I feel like for me 2020 was the year I pushed myself outside my comfort zone academically. I chose to do many CPD courses in difficult areas, which I would normally avoid for easier options. I also started the Masters which was a huge decision and commitment but one I am thankful for now. I said yes to some new collaborations and projects which I am very excited about.
I don’t see it as an achievement really but I hit some social media milestones too, with hitting over 10,000 likes on Instagram and 20,000 on facebook. I was also asked to write for and was published in the Irish Times last March regarding my views on remote learning.
Overall professionally I learned a lot about myself as a teacher. I know now that I am passionate about teaching and educating myself on the area of special and additional needs. This has completely and utterly changed my mindset.
I have a lot to look forward to in 2021, most of all a new arrival due in just seven weeks time!