Wednesday, December 02, 2009

New Year's Resolutions
Striving for excellence and improvement is a constant uphill battle in all pursuits. Ahead of the dawning of the new year, I want to start contemplating my resolutions for the upcoming year. What are my goals for improving my own teaching, and ultimately the learning of students in my classroom and beyond?
Before I even consider my own classroom, I want to explore more opportunities to share with other teachers, helping them perfect the craft of teaching. It isn't about being better at something than others are, it is about the collective power of sharing and growing together that makes this goal such an important one. Teachers too often teach and learn in isolation, when we need to be constantly exploring how to collaborate and grow together. As we grow as collective learners, we will be better equipped to guide as students in similar pursuits.
In my own classroom, I resolve to strive to teach "like first snow falling" (Taylor Mali) every day, every lesson. Unless I am geeked about the lesson, how do I expect students to get fired up and excited about what they are learning? I need to rejuvenate my own enthusiasm for learning and teaching, finding those key components that made me excited about these topics.
With my students, I must seek out their strengths as if each child were MY child, seeing blindly beyond their faults, to the inner glow, and capitalize on this, making each child feel unique and capable and extraordinary. For some children, this task will be difficult, almost monumental for me, but I must resolve to make this a priority.
I resolve to focus more on the learning, and less on the grades, more on the growth, and less on missing the mark of perfection. By learning more about formative assessment, and actually implementing this learning into my teaching, I can help students become a part of their own growth process, taking individual responsibility for growth and achievement.
Parents are a critical part of school success so I resolve to involve them more and more and more, impressing upon them the integral role of home and school, supporting them in supporting my teaching and school in general. Reaching out to parents of struggling students, giving them tools to support their child, encouraging and praising their efforts, will empower both of us to empower that child to experience success.
On a larger scale, I resolve to be active in the larger scale of education reform, helping the voices of teachers be heard in Washington, forcing policy makers to hear our reasons and our concerns. I will reach beyond the local, into the national arena, speaking loudly myself, supporting others' voices, and make those decision makers realize the crisis in education today is real and must be addressed.
I resolve for 2010 to be a better year in education, in my classroom, in my building, in my district and more importantly, across this nation. I resolve to make a difference.

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