2013 in Review

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

This is a “thought bubble”. It is an illustration depicting thought. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2013, I’m thrilled to see you go, but on your way out, let’s spend some time reflecting and reminiscing, shall we?


As I often do, I committed myself to blogging frequently in January to kickstart the year. I also committed myself to the Pulitzer Prize Remix poetry project, and wrote a cluster of education related posts on grades and motivations, lengthening the school year, and the impending arrival of middle school for our girls. I thought about why I love Christmas trees and tried to understand Sophie’s idea of a tragedy. I read some good books, reflected on digital social teaching, and my old and new goals.


I wrote about cooking with Pioneer Woman, finding “by heart” recipes, how anyone can cook, and other meal-planning successes. I realized that since 2007 when I began this blog, I’d written 600 posts! I read a great book about teaching and reflected with my students about inside and outside selves. A duck purse made me feel nostalgic, as did thinking about past jobs, and I remembered why I love Valentine’s Day.


March came in like a lamb, with some light posts about kitchen workhorses, being evaluated, and teaching metaphors and similes, in addition to a recap of our wonderful spring break trip. Then our school community suffered a loss, and I went silent for a little while.


More foodblogging in April, with more recipes that worked, Easter Pioneer Woman recipes, recipes and life lessons, and thoughts on not having a dishwasher. As busy as I was, I was also already thinking about summer.


A rare photo-based peek into my classroom! As always, I reflected on the occasion of my girls’ birthday. I did more reflecting as my poetry project ended, as did a challenging new course, one I’m about to teach for the second time and have already started revamping, as I ponder in this post. Clearly, the end of the school year had me in a reflective mood, as I also thought carefully about meal planning and how it shaped my school year. Finally, I began looking ahead to a fewnew units for next school year. Some personal/family issues made these very light blogging months, but I’m pleased to see I still managed some substantive posts.


These month’s posts continued the 2013 foodblogging trend here at A Patchwork Life; I wrote about summer baking and recipe hits and misses. After a tough school year, burnout was on my mind, but as it often has before, reading helped save me; I even had good luck with the library. A Facebook status turned into an open letter to my teenage self.


After some time away from blogging, I leapt back in with a back-to-school I’m-so-busy post. Though I missed posting for my birthday, turning 35 inspired a before I’m 40 list of all the adventures and experiences I want to have in the next five years. I started one of the new units I’d been developing since the spring, came up with a new essay topic for the unit, and had enough success overall that I published a piece about it, my second for ReadWriteThink. My work for them continues to make me proud, and I want to continue developing this area of my writing. I also baked a few cakes, thought about birthday parties, and became a new fan of an interesting celebrity blogger. I wrapped up September with a solid explanation of how blogging makes me a better teacher, which continues to motivate my writing and reaffirm my commitment to blogging about my work.


This month, I committed to NaBloPoMo, so I have a wealth of posts to choose from for this round-up. Once I realized how much my blogging had slowed during certain points in 2013, I thought again about blogging incognito. I baked a lot of pumpkin treats, avoided Black Friday, and read some amazing writing. I taught about vocabulary and Teen Spirit and pondered parent-teacher conferences. I watched my daughter dance, was grateful for health insurance, and tried to get some sleep.


I might have failed at daily posting, but the energy that posting more created carried over into December. Once again, I did some foodblogging; I posted about our Christmas brunch menu, baking holiday cookies, and what I brought for Thanksgiving dessert. I also read some great books and thought about books that stuck. Inspired by all this reading, I got a head start on my resolutions, determined to have more books and fewer screens in 2014. I thought even more about vocabulary and wrote my first sponsored post, about teaching writing revision. I thought about Christmas presents, saw some great movies and a beautiful garden. Finally, I made some personal goals for 2014.

Looking over the year, I’m pleased to see the experiences I had, both small and large, and the conscious steps I took to participate in pursuits that enrich my life, like cooking, reading and blogging. This was especially rewarding when I could reflect on personal or professional topics that are important to me.  As it has before, reflecting over my year in this way has made me feel more ready to face the new year with optimism and confidence; I hope you’re feeling the same way too, as 2013 draws to a close.

3 thoughts on “2013 in Review

  1. Great writing Jackie1 I always enjoy reading your work. I tried connecting you with Denise’s sister in law Dusty Bryndal. She is a teacher, reader, writer and blogger. I hope you can connect on line.


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