Friday, January 02, 2009

A new year….. the time for resolutions… new beginnings… Maybe instead of resolutions, we should write goals, the difference being, a resolution not met seems a failure, while a goal is simply being still worked towards.

With this in mind, this year, I shall write goals for my teaching rather than resolutions. I will view them as a work in progress so if I do not meet them, I will be encouraged to continue the journey instead of abandoning it in perceived failure.

Goal #1:Provide more opportunities for students to learn independently. Too often, learning is structured with me being the guide, leaving little room for individuality, failure, or straying from the intended course. I would like my students to have more opportunities to become responsible for their own learning, pushing themselves to reach beyond what is required, exploring on their own.
In social studies, I find this teaching approach easy. Projects are fun and rewarding both for students and me. Giving them a basic skeleton of what they should learn allows them to explore on their own, while still meeting the requirements I know they need.
In math, however, I find this approach more difficult. Not only do the grade level content expectations seem restrictive, students often need direct instruction in math content to grasp the topics covered. It seems complicated to provide independent learning experiences for students.
My goal will be to provide students at least one independent learning experience per unit in math. These might be online learning explorations, or some sort of project in class. This will require me to be proactive in seeking /developing this type of math lessons.

Goal #2:Due to a variety of circumstances, I have not been on top of sending positive communications home for students this year. Most years, I try to send out postcards about once a marking period praising student successes in my room. I have yet to send out one postcard this year. Therefore, Goal #2 is to send positive postcards on students, hopefully, at least one to each student twice before the end of the school year.

Goal #3: Strive to be a more effective leader among teachers on my staff. I want to always be a positive role model in dealing with students, parents, and adminstrators. Often we find ourselves caught in a rut of complaining and negativity. I want to constantly remind myself to remain positive and find the good in others and situations. By keeping an upbeat outlook, I can be a source of renewable for those around me.

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