Anyone who works in a school knows that we work on a different calendar than the rest of the world. The New Year’s Day is the first day of school for all teacher’s. So on this New Year’s Eve (which has me in bed early instead of up past midnight), here is my top ten* School Year resolutions.**
- Keep up with this blog. If I ask my students to do it, then I should be too. And beyond that, I think it’s a valuable place to reflect about my teaching. Reflection is often forgotten in the day-to-day trenches of teaching. Plus for COETAIL@YIS, I think it’s a requirement.
- Make my school blog better. I am really proud of how I used my school blog last year…I learned a lot and I think the time that I put into it was beneficial to my students. Now I want calendars embedded. And conversations with my students. And sharing with parents and people outside of my classroom. I have a lot more to learn.
- Get an organization system (paper and computer) that works for me. I had one glorious year when I finally figured out a system that was perfect. And then I moved to a new school. System hasn’t been the same since.
- Use computers (and technology) wisely. As part of the Connected Learning Community (see Kim Cofino’s wonderful blog about this whole process at YIS), we are going 1:1 (1 computer for every student, grade 6-12) this year! Having previously taught at a 1:1 school (Munich International School), I found a year of sharing computer carts horrendous. I had nightmares that I didn’t book the carts on the right day or that my students didn’t put the computers back the right way. So to say that I am thrilled to see my students with 13″ MacBook Pros would be an understatement. But I hope I am better now with technology, in terms of allowing my students to make real connections with people who know more than me and connecting with new ideas. In addition, I hope that I never use computers as pacifiers in my classroom and I know when to say “close the lid”.
- Just because it worked before, doesn’t mean I need to do it again. I hope I continue to experiment and work to develop new assessments, lessons, and ideas. This will ensure that my students and I don’t get bored. And in conjunction with that, I hope I don’t reinvent the wheel for the sake of reinventing the wheel. This will ensure my students and I don’t go insane
- Get student work back faster. Same goal after 11 years. I’m a slow grader. I must be better!
- Decorate my classroom nicely and keep it neat. Again, same goal after 11 years.
- Say “no” when I think I can’t contribute and “yes” when I think I can make a difference. This is regarding any and all voluntary committee-work.
- Continue to develop my PLN*** and start to be more of a contributor than just a lurker. I always compare being on Twitter is like being in a teachers’ lounge. I felt last year that I was a new teacher both at YIS and in Twitterverse**** Going to Learning 20.11 in Shanghai should help with this. But I should also being willing to put myself out there 140 characters at a time.
- Stay focused on the kids. When my classroom is a mess and my organization system has broken down and my grading is piling up,and I’m in my umpteenth committee meeting, I will take a moment (breathe) and remember why I back for year number eleven of teaching. It has been, and should forever remain, about my students.
Happy New Year to all my teacher friends!
* This number of resolutions could have been expanded. I have dozens more rolling around my head, but I really do have to go to bed.
**I also have personal new year’s resolutions. So I will be learning Japanese while I cook dinner and prepare a bag lunch every day. Starting Monday.
***Personal Learning Network
**** Still feel a little dorky saying “twitterverse” and “tweet”