This year has definitely had an interesting start. I am so happy to be back at work and doing what I love… I am hopeful that we truly did make a difference for public education and the classroom conditions for our students. Only time will tell!
With the unusual start, I didn’t get the chance to blog as much as I would like, but I’m now feeling like things are mostly settled and I’m able to sit down and think about the year ahead and my practice.
Every year I try and pick a few goals or big ideas to focus on for the year. I find it helps when everything gets busy and hectic to remember if it’s something I am passionate about or not, and whether or not it fits in with my goals for the year.
For the 2014-2015 school year, I would like to…
1) … Remember my love for the job and for helping students.
I am putting this first and foremost because of an amazingly serendipitous meeting with a former student. This student is an incredible woman, and has just finished her practicum to be an elementary school teacher. (She is an amazing one – if you or your child ever meets her you’ll be so lucky! 🙂 ) She came to visit on the picket line in September. It was so nice to chat with her, but in addition to her being so generous with her time, she also brought me a fantastic pin and a card.
The card said so many sweet things, but what struck me most is when she said she “learned from (me) that teaching can be tons of fun, hard work, but fun.” I want my students to know how much fun it is to work with them and to be a part of their high school experiences. I hope they know how much I want them to succeed, and I hope they know that I will work as hard as I can to make this happen. I am so thankful for the beautiful reminder that it does make a difference.
2) … Continue my goal of being deliberate and attentive to my assessment practices.
I have enjoyed the gains I have seen in student learning since we have implemented standards based grading, and I would like to continue exploring how to improve my assessment practices. This year, I am really interested in delving into intervention strategies for students who are struggling. Finding strategies to change a student’s trajectory when they are not feeling successful will definitely be a focus. (If you have ideas, books to read, people to talk to – contact me PLEASE!) 🙂
3) … Continue to find ways to use technology to help student learning.
This one is just a passion of mine. I love trying to find new ways to use technology in a smart way (and not just for the sake of technology). I will continue with my vimeo videos and a few other tools, but I’m always looking for other ways to simplify or solve particular classroom problems that we face.
With all that said, this year is going to be a BIG year – I’m getting married in March 2015!!! 🙂 Not only that, but this math teacher is getting married on PI DAY – 3 14 15! (Can’t really get much better than that… we figure since the next digits after 3.1415 are 926, maybe we’ll have pie for dessert at that time…) 🙂
Looking forward to the year…