Review of 2014

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Hello Friends,

I spent part of my last work trip of 2014 in Pacifica, CA to co-present at a small education conference roundtable. This picture of a sunset reminds me that there is beauty in endings. Ending of the daylight, the ending of a year.

As part of my family’s Kwanzaa tradition we make commitments for the new year. Growing up we were asked to think of a few commitments we wanted to make to ourselves, our family, and community during the week of Kwanzaa and share them on the last day of Kwanzaa which is Imani.

As an adult, it’s my practice to review and reflect on the past year. Make my commitments and share those as a preview of what I would like the new year to be about. Also, I used a template from Rosetta of Happy Black Woman. Which was helpful in keeping me focused and actually writing my thoughts down.

I made four commitments for 2014

1. To waist hoop for 10 minutes.

2. Take a solo vacation.

3. Incorporate more active play in my workshops.

4. Book work in the Philadelphia area.

I achieved 3 out of the 4. Yay!

Highlights from my review of 2014

Commitment #1 Hoop Challenge

I can now hoop on my waist in both flows for 10 minutes. It took me about 2 months to master and it’s the accomplishment I’m most proud of because I worked hard to learn kinetically which is my lowest learning mode. Haven’t figured out how to take hooping selfies, maybe I will that to 2015’s commitments.

Commitment #2 Solo vacation

Even though I travel alone for work 95% of the time I was hesitant to take a solo vacation. I did it big by booking an international trip to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. I’ve been to both places before for work but this was the first time for a holiday!

Here are some favorite photos from the trip.

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Orlando Towers

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Posing in front of the Welcome to Soweto sign.

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Johannesburg center (Black and White)

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Entering the Apartheid Museum

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Mural at Robson Island

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Meeting up with Emily in Cape Town

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Table Mountain

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Looking out over Cape Town

Going through my pictures and notes, I didn’t have any reason to be anxious. I had an amazing time relaxing, making new friends, exploring the urban landscape, and indulging my inner history buff.

Commitment #3 – Play in workshops

Just as I believe children learn through play, I believe adults can learn through play as well.

I’m facilitating two communities of practice in San Mateo, CA. We are using Reflecting in Communities of Practice: A Workbook for Early Childhood Educators for our study book.

The picture below is from the beginning of the year where they participated in a study session recreating a child’s play with cellophane and created their own ideas about how to play with this interesting material.

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Cellophane falling through the air!

I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the educators at Little Owl Preschool (Thanks Dawn) to explore what it means to be in a democratic classroom. The final experience was play acting children’s conflicts. This group of educators completely immersed themselves in the roles of children. Note: I was a captive audience.

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Play acting children’s conflicts (credit Dawn Velez)

Towards the end of the year I co-presented a full day session at WECA conference with my good friend, Kelly Matthews of A Place for You Early Childhood Consulting. The picture below captures a participant building with the mini blocks in an color pattern.

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Color play with mini blocks

 

Those are the highlights of 2014. What were your accomplishments of 2014? What’s your tradition of reflecting on the past year?

The preview of 2015…coming soon!

Best,

Ijumaa