04 September 2005

New Year's Resolutions

Bright and early Tuesday morning, another school year will be under way. This means that it is the perfect time for me to make some "New Year's Resolutions."

  1. Class Blog: I really need to make this work, especially if we are allowed to access it from school. There are already other teachers asking if they could do one and so my "test case" needs to be successful. To do that, I need to make the conversations there engaging and encourage participation. The information must be integrated with what happens in the classroom.
  2. The Holy Grail of Lesson Plans: Now that I believe I have it, I need to "walk the walk" I talked up during last week's inservice. This means being more mindful of classroom time and how it's being apportioned. It also means making the effort for more reflective practice.
  3. Reading Strategies/Study Skills: I make a good go of this at the beginning of each year. I just need to sustain it. We use an incredibly dense text in AP and I want to give kids more tools for interpreting it.
  4. I have a huge learning curve for my district job. This means that I also have a lot of goals and desires for that position. But one of the things that I really want to do is spend time with science staff in other buildings. I know nearly every science teacher now, but not as well as I'd like. There are a few who seem a little suspicious or resentful of me and I need to see if I can change that. I also want to have some firsthand knowledge of the culture at each building and the conditions that impact science education.
  5. Make the load bearable: This is a goal for myself and others. I know what a huge "burden" teaching can feel like these days. It has nothing to do with the kids---going to the classroom continues to be joyful for most everyone I know. But it's the ever increasing performance expectations in concert with the isolation of teaching that wears us down. Somehow, I have to help teachers get the best tools so that their job is simpler. I want all of us to feel the passion that got us into the classroom without the reasons we can think of to leave.
  6. Do something with my personal time: This may be more of a traditional "New Year's" sort of thing. But I have been in the classroom since I was four years old. I don't know much about living life outside of it. It looks like this year may afford me the very first opportunity to do so. I will have far less evening and weekend work to bring home. What would I like to do instead? I really don't know. I have a few hobbies I enjoy, but perhaps it's time for me to take some new directions with my life. Who am I, apart from an educator?

We'll see how well I do with these particular resolutions. Some will be easier than others to accomplish. I just have to be mindful of them and not be discouraged by setbacks and changes in course along the way. That's why they're "resolutions," eh?

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