An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. ~Bill Vaughan (1915–1977), in The Kansas City Star
If you’ve been anywhere near social media, then you know the vast majority of the world was ready for 2016 to come to an end. And I’ll admit, part of me was right there with them. This year saw the horrific violence of Syria, we lost Leonard Cohen, Prince, David Bowie and Princess Leia, and let’s not even talk about the chaotic, weird, divisive United States election.
Yeah, 2016 was a doosey. For a hilarious recap, check out this parody of a man who slept through 2016.
Like most folks, when New Year’s Eve approached this week, my knee-jerk reaction was “good riddance 2016.” But then, I sat down to draft this blog post and realized that for all the awful things that happened in the past year, there was also an extraordinary amount of awesome, specifically for our WVCTE community.
For starters, WVCTE received its official NCTE affiliate status, our membership has grown, we’ve connected educators across the state, and we’ve begun planning our first state-wide conference for March 2018. Our little organization hosted its first professional development session in September with the authors of Writing with Mentors, Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell, and it was attended by over 40 teachers from West Virginia and Maryland. Our Best Practices blog has been reaching teachers all over the state, country, and world, and we’ve given West Virginia ELA teachers a platform to share their stories, success, and strategies. (And we designed these really great t-shirts...)
So no, I can’t say the 2016 was a bad year. In fact it was an incredible year, and 2017 has some pretty big shoes to fill. I look forward to the next year with hope and optimism.
And like most hopeful, optimistic people I have made qutie a few New Year Resolutions. Most of them are pretty standard proclamations like "get fit," "get more sleep," and "drink more water," but I've also made a few Teacher resolutions, and I would like to share two of them here:
Teacher Resolution Number 1