Welcome to the last blog post of 2015. During the month of December, I'll be taking a sabbatical from writing. For me, December is a month for private reflection. There are several threads of reflecting that deserve attention:
- How is the school year progressing? What changes do I need to make as we approach the mid-way point?
- How did I grow as a writer during this past year? What types of things did my readers teach me?
- How did my most important relationships deepen this year? What breakthroughs did I experience as a husband and father?
- How does Dave the Teacher in 2015 compare to Dave the Teacher in years past? Where do I need to invest my personal professional development efforts in 2016?
Each of these, I think, merits some good, old-fashioned free-writing and prayer. Removing myself from the bi-weekly posting schedule will aid in making space for that. I encourage you to find ways to similarly disengage, especially during a year-end season that seems more and more harried as I get older.
But before I let you go for the year, one huge favor.
“Donating = Loving”
Many of the teacher blogs I see fall into two categories:
- Posts are published very sporadically when there's time. (Us being teachers, there's usually not.)
- Posts are published regularly, and the blog is slathered with advertisements so that the writer feels compensated for his or her time.
In 2015, I've tried to bring the DaveStuartJr.com blog into a third category: consistently published articles (twice per week since September 1, and three times per week in August) delivered in a clean, quality reading experience (no ads, no pop-ups — more on the mid-year design changes here).
However, being this kind of blog means that, periodically, I need to put my wife and kids first and ask for your generosity. Donating to this blog, as this section's heading suggests, is a great way of saying that you love this blog.  DaveStuartJr.com in 2015 took hundreds of hours to write, and in 2015 costs associated with web hosting, the email newsletter, technical assistance, and research will come to over $5,000.
Thanks so much for considering a one-time gift, which you can give by clicking here.
Gratitude for you
When I began this blog three and a half years ago, I couldn't have imagined that readers like you were possible. I knew there were a lot of teachers in the world, but I didn't know there were so many whom I'd come to be genuinely encouraged by. For all of you who have written emails, left comments, or given me a hug or a hand shake at an in-person event, thank you. To those who share my articles on social media or who forward my newsletters on to friends, thank you. Your encouragement has emboldened me to write better in 2015 than I feel I ever have.
Please stick with me, because I pray that I am only just getting started.
In light of all you've given me, I do hope that this holiday season you find much to be grateful for; please know that I am grateful for you.
Dave Stuart Jr.[hr]
- The phrase “donating = loving” comes from Maria Popova over at BrainPickings.org.