My 2021 IEP (Individualized Education Plan)

The year of 2020 came in and took us by storm. Many Americans spent most of the year wearing masks, binge watching shows, eating more than we should have and spending numerous months seeking disinfecting wipes and toilet tissue. I’m sure many of us can remember the chicken sandwich idiocy and the debacle that was the presidential debate. If you’re a sports fan, you were constantly reminded of the death of Kobe. With COVID 19 came several words that I don’t care to ever hear again. Such words as pivot, social distancing, and the new norm should be eradicated in the future. WHO wants this to become the “new norm”?

For me, 2020 was a year to focus. It gave me purpose as I gained opportunities to fulfill many of my goals. However, I am more than elated to move into a new year and I am looking forward to more positive things while continuing to wear the dreaded mask. As a teacher of students with special needs, I am responsible for creating IEP goals annually and assessing them every nine weeks to determine if the students are making sufficient progress to signify growth. This year, I have put myself on an IEP and will assess myself monthly to gauge my own progression.

Last year I spent quite a bit of time healing and understanding my own feelings. This year I want to garner a true spirit of forgiveness. For me I have always just moved on and found it profitable to avoid people that wrong me. However, when I cross paths with those very people, I can sense a spirit of resentment within me. We don’t have to talk but the sight of the person annoys me. In this season, I want to learn how to disconnect from people in a more positive manner. I want to genuinely forgive someone and move on with a purpose. I want to get to the point of being able to sincerely extend a greeting and keep it pushing.

The next thing I want to do is get a handle on my finances. Mid-year, I finally snagged a copy of Dave Ramsey’s “The Financial Peace Planner”. After working through the planner I realized I wasn’t preparing and adequately tracking my spending which resulted in me not meeting my savings goals. However, it did help me realize how important it is to look at miscellaneous spending because those expenses are the ones that impact my savings the most. In 2021, I plan to be more intentional with my spending and really try to get away from frivolous spending or “feel good” spending.

One of the most important things I plan to do is focus more on self-care. In the past, self-care has been bubble baths, pedicures, traveling and shopping. This year, I’m going to put on my oxygen mask before trying to help others. As an educator, I spend so much time focused on everyone else that I exhaust myself and stay in a constant state of burnout. I’m currently unplugged from Facebook and on a strike against soda. I’m going to spend more time in prayer, become more consistent in getting outside for fresh air and exercise, read more to gain experiences that don’t require me to spend money and journal thoughts, ideas and accomplishments.

My word for 2021 is “intentional”. I want to make sure almost everything I do has a purpose for my passion. What are your plans and goals for 2021? Cheers to a New Year!

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