In between overdoing it

Posts tagged ‘blogging’

Introducting the Success in Parenting Series

Hello! My name is Ann Marie Flanagan.

Here is a little about me. I am a wife of 17 years and a mother of three happy and healthy children. I met my husband on a blind date. During my second year of teaching I was set-up on a date with a parent of a kindergartener at the school I was working in. That blind date led to marriage and my little family. My children are Blake, McKenzie, and Gavin. Ever since I was young, I had always wanted to become a teacher! I am thrilled to have the privilege of speaking to you about my passion: teaching.

During high school, I began tutoring my neighbor’s sons. While I was working with them they were both tested and labeled Learning Disabled. This intrigued me and I began to research and decided I wanted to focus on working with this population.

I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Learning Disabilities from the University of North Florida. From there I began my teaching career in an elementary school working with special education students in the 4th and 5th grades. Right away I knew this was my calling and couldn’t wait to learn more.

Image source unknown

Image source unknown

Several years later I participated in a cohort where I earned my Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Central Florida as well as my National Board Certification! I continued working in elementary education since then, only taking one year off.

This is my 21st year of teaching and I am more passionate about my students than ever before.

I educate and advocate for my students, collaborate with parents, and assist other teachers in their pursuit of becoming the best they can be for their students.

For the past 7 years I have worked in Pre-K and found my niche. At first I thought this was going to be the easiest of jobs. Boy was I mistaken! I have learned a whole new skill-set and I am in love with my career.

These 3 & 4 year olds are challenging, but they are also little sponges. My favorite areas to teach these young minds is in their social/emotional and communication skills. This is a critical age for my students. Early intervention is the key. Most of their labels include: Developmentally Delayed, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Language Impaired.

My students inspired me to develop an online workshop called Tackling Tantrums. More often than not parents tell me about tantrums that are occurring at home and I have key strategies and tips to share. This workshop is not just for parents of special education students. It is for all parents who struggle with taming these outbursts.

In addition, I have developed a Facebook group to share our children’s successes and ask for assistance with challenges. This group is a safe place to discuss strategies and tips for young children all the way through young adults who may be ready to leave for college.

Would you like to join us?

Here is the link: SuccessinParenting. You can find information about the Tackling Tantrums Workshop in the group or you can email me at readingguru@yahoo.com.  I also have a free series within the group about how to set your children up for a successful start to the new school year. This series is filled with quick and easy tips that you can begin to implement today.

I look forward to the next opportunity to share with you every other Monday. In future posts I will share my expertise and knowledge about managing your child’s strong emotions, identifying red flags for learning difficulties, and how to prepare for a parent conference and/or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting. If you have suggestions on topics just send me an email.

Respectfully,

Ann Marie Flanagan

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Staying True to the person YOU want to be

true self

Are you holding true to the person you intended to be?

You know what they say things happen for a reason. The reason might be unknown to you at first but then after thought and time it is reveled to you. Recently, I have questioned if I am truly meant to be in this space. If my words are worth anything. I have questioned my self-worth, my own character and wondered if some of the things others might have said about me hold any truth.

When I decided to start a blog a year and a half ago, I was prepared for criticism. I expected trolls. Ready for the keyboard warriors to descend upon me and verbally shoot me through the heart. I prepared for it and guarded myself against it. But it never happened.

I was shockingly greeted with support, encouragement and general good feelings and community. Time passed and I became immersed in social media, blogging and online communities. This was a great experience, I found many new friends and wonderful people that have taught me so much.

I learned a ton about the online space. This was also where I let my guard down.  Trusting people and taking what they posted on social media as the true picture of who they were. Falling into the pattern of thinking the social media personally was who that person really was. Even I began to present a social media “presence,” a brand if you will. But forgetting that I never wanted to be a brand; I only wanted to be a person sharing this journey of motherhood and moderation with people who could empathize.

I ventured into online marketing, sales, promotion. Became caught up in the words of all the “influencers” and advice. I lost sight of why I started this. In the end, blogging became second to promoting and following the plan advised by social media experts. Caught up in the fear of missing out. This lead me to ventured into waters I never intended and that didn’t really fit with what I was doing.

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In folly, I believed people on social media were who they appeared to be instead of the many facets that each person truly is.  I relied more on there opinion and judgment, then on myself. We all put on a social media face. We present our best side, our prettiest smile, out clean homes, our perfect lives. But this mommy blogging journey was never about being perfect. It was only about understanding each other and finding balance together.

Unfortunately, I allowed myself believe that this face was the truth, knowing deep down it was not. I even put this face on myself, hiding parts of me away as to not offend anyone. Some true genuine friends where discovered in this endeavor. But I also made enemies it seems, and the critic that was lying in wait finally emerged. It was myself.

So for several weeks now I have been fighting the urge to close this blog down. To run away. Hide. Remove myself from the falseness I had brought upon myself. And I did for a bit… run away, lick my wounds.

But when I took my head out of the sand. I looked at who remained, who really liked what I wrote. Who were true, real and genuine. Things do happen for a reason. Beyond hurt, fear and criticism, these lessons are there to bring us closer to the person we are meant to be.

Our world today is crazy, especially lately. Full of snap judgments, false experts and too much information but little knowledge.  These events, I believe, are meant to teach us our true convictions. Who you choose to be. Who we want to surround ourselves with. A very wise friend said to me “You can only get happiness by keeping the things that help you grow and let the rest fade away.”

As to what will happen with this blog. I don’t know, but it was never about monetizing, promoting or social media anyway. I think it’s time I got back to what I originally intended…just writing how I feel, helping those seeking empathy and hoping we can support in each other along the way. Hold tight to who you are, what truly matter to you and let the rest fade away.


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It All Began With Self Doubt…One Year Ago

blogThis week marks my first anniversary in the blogging world. While my theme has changed, my platform is different and my focus has done a 360, the reasons I started to blog remain the same. I want to share my thoughts with like minded people.

This blog started as a way for me to have an outlet from the repressive 9-5 work I was doing. Before I started this blogging adventure, I felt like I was drowning, sinking deeper into the mire of my own self-pity. Doubting myself more and more as my torturous days at my job stretched on. The blog became therapy for me. It started off slow but soon became almost like a need. I could vent my frustrations, share my triumphs and help others learn along with me. I blogged everyday for almost a year, up until I moved platforms. Blogging became my constant companion.

You all have given my light when I felt dark, you have given me spirit when I felt immobile, you have helped me overcome disappointment and deal with frustration. I am forever grateful for this community and support I have been given and I look forward to the continued evolution of this blog. Thank you.

(Here is my first post)

self doubt

Here I stand on the end of the diving board, my toes hanging over  the edge. Looking down I see the serene, clear water below. I know in the water is where I should be, where I want to be. All I have to do is step forward. But I stand there, fearing the”what if’s,” motionless. Wanting to jump in, but too afraid to let go.

This is how I feel starting this blog. For months I had the idea, came up with a title, and made my About page. There I was all set to write the first post and I was to afraid to move forward. To scared to open myself up to criticism. To put myself, my “real” self, out there. My faults and needs, my wants and failures. My plan for this blog was to be an outlet for the words and feeling fighting for a place to go, but when the moment came I was so filled with self doubt, I did nothing

Since my idea for this blog was to chronicle my success and failures in my search for moderation, it is kind of funny that my first challenge was in just getting started. I have found it difficult to balance my self doubt with my want to get the words out of me. In this moment, I realize this balance thing is going to be a lot deeper than I thought. How do I not listen to the self doubt and fear? How do I not overdo doubting myself?

The really remarkable thing about this is that I discovered the opposing force to my self doubt. It was that  I really wanted to do this. I felt I have something to say and the worst that could happen is I learn how to swim. I made the choice. Either I am going to move forward or I will stay were I have been with no voice, no outlet. I decided not to turn around and leave the pool, but put on my floaties and jump in. Thank you for jumping in with me.

Find More Joy In Everyday. Here’s how!

 

stress-largeYou know those people who have the ability to let everything roll off there back.

They never seems stressed, have a great outlook and just “roll with it.”

They know what stresses them and how to overcome it. I am here to solve that problem for you.

First, we have to figure out what is putting your life out of wack. Is the majority of out upset coming from family interactions? Is it generating out of a lack of self-care? If is pressure we create for ourselves?

I have created a free, 9 question assessment to help solve this problem and overcome your major causes of stress, once and for all. My aim in creating this assessment is to give you the tools to bring your life back into balance. To discover something about yourself you might not be aware of. I hope to help you manage your stress and find more joy in everyday.

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Come join me at my new blog!

homeEarly last month I moved over to WordPress.org. Recently it was brought to my attention that some of my old crew (you guys) might not have been able to find me over there. So I wanted to jump on and give a quick hello, as well as an invite to come visit me at Inbetweenmoderation.com.

I also have a special gift waiting for you there if you follow the blog. Just go to Inbetweenmoderation.com/freebiesignup. I really hope to reconnect with all of you there. I am happy in my new home but really miss all the connections I have made over here. Hope to hear from you soon.

Blog Migration in Moderation

Computer, technology, blogging, blog

I’m back. Well, sort of… I never really left. I just moved a little. I’m in to process of switching my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org to give me more flexibility and to move my blogging forward a bit. Not wanting to go it alone, I paid for a guided migration. Now that I’m on the other side and the transfer has been complete, nothing seems to be working right. I tried to select a new theme and after one preview something was disabled and no other themes would work. I attempted to activate 2 new plug-ins, they would not work either. I tryied everything I could think of. I feel totally out of my depth on all of this. That is why I paid for migration support.

Migration support can only be contacted by email and only for a 2 week period. This is not helping me. The weird part is I feel actually anxiety over things not going the way I planned. Weird, its not like this is my job. Its not like this is my income. My blog is somewhere I go to share my thoughts and interact with like-minded people. I do this on my schedule, at my own time, so why has it become anxiety producing to not have it function the way I want?

I have come to realize thought this process, this blog has become more a part of me then I ever anticipated. It has filled me with great joy and pride. But just like bringing a sick child to the doctor, you feel pretty helpless as you wait for them to get well again. That’s how I feel, kind of helpless and really… well…stupid. I always thought I was technologically savvy enough to figure most things out but I am uncharted waters and the support team occasionally throws me a life preserver. I still feel like I have no clue what is going on or where to go with this new site. I guess I didn’t think it would be this confusing. So here are 3 tips that have been working for me when technology is not being your friend.computer

  1. Step away -I know we have all heard this before that is because it works. Sometimes getting a little distance between you and the computer might put things into a more logical perspective. At least it gives you a change to step away from your frustration and maybe look at it later with fresh eyes. So if you feel deadlocked and frustrated. Put the laptop down and go for a walk.
  2. Go to YouTube University – We are blessed to be in a world where most answers are at the click of your mouse. YouTube has tons of tutorials that can help guide you thought most technological hiccups.
  3. Ask for help – When you have tried everything and you are still encountering problems find someone knowledgeable that area of technology and enlist there expertise. You might have to pay them for their time but the amount you save in frustration and wasted hours might make it a worthwhile investment.

I’m still struggling through this conversion thing but each day I learn something and get closer to where I want to be. Today I felt like giving up but a friend left me a comment to “Never give up, never surrender.” That was just the encouragement I need to keep at this and overcome my technological obstacles.

A New Step In The Journey

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Quick Note to all that follow this blog. Things will start to look a little different in the near future as I am moving off of WordPress.com to a self hosted site on WordPress.org. The posts will still appear in the reader of all who follow here and the domain name of Inbetweenmoderation.com will remain the same. However, in order to comment or like post you must now go directly to Inbetweenmoderation.com.

I will still be active in the reader as I still want to follow all of the great blogs I have found here. I just felt that it was time for this blog to move forward and grow. I will also be introducing a new blogging schedule in which posts will appear every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (also the occasional Tea and Cake Tuesday) I think this will help in my effort to produce more quality posts and better content for you.

Please know that you are all coming with me in my search to finding balance and moderation. This temporary pause is just part of the journey.

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