I’m not one of those teachers who stops thinking about work on the last day of school. I know that some folks are able to put school completely out of their minds for the entire summer, and sometimes I envy them, but I am certainly not one of them! I constantly reflect on my year, and what I’ll need to change the following year.
Although I’m very late, I decided to join up with I Heart Recess for the goals I’ve set for the 2014-2015 school year.
I had a hard time fitting my goals onto this graphic! In essence, here’s what I’m thinking:
Personal – This is not very interesting, but I’ve lost some weight recently by dieting. I haven’t exerised at all (other than daily household/vacation activity!) so I definitely need to work that into my schedule. Last school year, I went to spin class regularly. I need to start that again!
Organization – I often get told that I’m super organized, but honestly, it’s a front. If people knew what the insides of my cabinets looked like, they’d be shocked! 🙂 I often start out the year very positively, very organized, but before long it all falls apart. This summer, I’ve worked on organizing all of my reading files into a binder (in alphabetic order by skill) so that next year, I’ll know where they are when I need them. I need to take that organization, though, and use it to my advantage; I need to do much better about making copies ahead of time and having the materials that I need when I need them. I am determined to be organized this year!
Planning – So right now, I’ve gotten off to a good start. I’m about halfway through planning my first quarter work, and it’s only July. Ideally, I’ll be a quarter ahead in my plans, all the time. But as I mentioned above, I’ll be happy if I just have my weekly plans done ahead of time! I’ve spent way too many Sunday nights scrambling to write out lesson plans. No more! It’ll be quite a change anyway, since I’m only going to be planning for ELA and social studies now, rather than every subject. I’m curious to see how that goes.
Professional – I have too many professional plans to fit in that graphic up there! As I mentioned, I need to develop solid, consistent routines, and stick to them. If we begin an Interactive Notebook at the beginning of the year, I have to keep it up long enough for it to become a habit. One of my worst habits is letting things slide (my kids’ Reflection Journals from a few years ago, for example) before they become a consistent part of our routine. It’s a bad habit to pass onto my students, and I’m determined to change that. I also intend to use this blog to continuously reflect on my teaching and my students’ learning. So many things are different this year; it’s going to be important to assess what’s working and what’s not.
Students – My students are not generally very independent. I know that this is partly because I don’t have high enough expectations. When I talk to my husband about problems I’m having in my classroom, he often reminds me of my most commonly used excuse: “But they’re just fifth graders!” Exactly. They’re fifth graders, and they can usually handle much more than I try to let them. If I set high expectations, they will reach them.
Motto – “Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.” -John Mayer. I had this posted on my Pinterest board, and forgot about it until earlier tonight. I don’t even know the song that it’s from but I love it. I think that in education, we have to take risks and try new things, whether everyone else is onboard or not. I often find myself doing things (or not doing them) because I’m going along with my colleagues. I have to make a conscious effort to do what’s best for my students, despite what people may think.