Happy New School Year! January 1 marks the beginning of the calendar year, but for teachers the new year is NOW, in September! Some of the same things we do when the ball drops in Times Square, we can do at the beginning of the school year. Now is a great time to set your own professional goals and put systems in place to help you achieve them.
There is so much to plan for that it can feel overwhelming. You already have plenty of mandatory school and district goals. So, select one thing for yourself that you would really like to explore this year - just one thing.
Decisions, decisions…Try something new? Refine what is already in place? You may want to add more depth and mastery to something you’ve already been studying rather than start with a brand-new area.
Here are a few tips to help you “zoom in” your focus:
- Think about last year. Is there a methodology you’d like to explore or develop? Maybe you want to improve the quality of student talk. Perhaps you’d like your read-alouds to be more targeted.
- Determine when and where you will weave in this area of study. If you want to improve student talk, where can that happen? During partner time in reading workshop? At read-alouds?
- Name what has happened in the past and what you’d like to be different. This can help you to try new things.
FIND YOUR TOOLS
Think about the tools that are right for YOU.
- You could create a case study to help you see the impact of your efforts. For example, if improving student talk is your chosen goal, then pick a partnership to monitor through your focused lens throughout the year.
Another tool could be choosing a professional text. These books are loaded with ideas, so make a realistic plan to unpack it. Don’t add more stress by trying too many things at once.
REFLECT AND BE ACCOUNTABLE
Things get busy in school! Set up time to reflect on your self-study and ways to hold yourself accountable.
- Keep a notebook handy to jot down a few notes in the moment.
- Make a bi-weekly or monthly “appointment” for refection time and note it in your calendar or planning book to help you stay on track.
- Share your goal with a colleague or two and invite them to ask you about it throughout the year. Who knows, maybe they will want to join in!
Enjoy this goal-setting and new learning you are creating for yourself. You are curious. You are brilliant. You are reflective. You are a teacher!
Feel free to share your goals with us! Tweet @Kaeden_Books or post comments on Facebook!