Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back to School Goals

I just started following I {heart} Recess's blog this week, and I love the latest linky party and had to join.  I am a very goal oriented person, so to put these in writing makes me oh so happy (since I can't sleep)...

Here are just a few of the goals I have for this school year:

Let me elaborate on some of these for those that don't know me well.....

Personal: My plate is full.  People look at my calendar or my Facebook and can automatically tell how busy I am.  My friend tells me my calendar makes her sick and she has 2 kids (I have none) and all of their events on hers.  So here I am at this crossroads of needing for my health and sanity to learn to say no.  This is going to be so difficult, but I am one of those that is always offering to help when I should really just keep my mouth shut.

Organization: I am terrible about putting off grading until I cannot anymore... I need to just get it done and out of my hair each day so that my students can be better informed about their progress.  With this comes the need to post these grades to our online system each time I grade something instead of waiting and doing it every 3 weeks when the office is printing progress reports or report cards... This is a bad habit I have lapsed into, and I need to stay organized to stop this!

Planning: Teaching 6 grade levels is hard, and last year I was so overwhelmed some days that I just planned until lunch the next day and then at lunch, I finished figuring out my last 2 classes.  This is not ok, and I have never been this way before!  My goal is to be ahead of the game and stay that way so my students get the most out of each class period...

Professional: I am a member of our Regional Science Collaborative, and therefore I have set in 99 hours of workshops since June 1st on various topics.  The one I am in the is week is about formative assessment.  There are many things that I am taking away from this workshop that I want to implement in my classroom. These are quick techniques to assess where my kids are so that I can move from being the "sage on the stage to the guide on the side."  I want to be able to take my facilitator hat and put it on and let my kids go with my guidance.  Today we were also introduced to the idea of Wait Time 1 and Wait Time 2.  Wait Time 1 is what we all already do - ask a question and wait 3-5 seconds for students to process and for hands to start flying up before we call on someone to answer.  Wait Time 2 is new to me though, so I will share.   Wait Time 2 happens after the student has responded to the question.  You allow for the others to process what has just been said and mull it over so that you can ask for someone to extend or explain another point of view.  This is 3-5 seconds as well.  Through this workshop, I realized I am not waiting enough for my kids to process, and I need to!

Students: I want my students to feel valued and heard.  I want them to know that they matter and their thoughts and actions matter.  Many of my students are wards of the state and are in the foster system - many have very poor self-worth and need encouragement.  It is my hope that my kids feel safe enough to take risks and that when they come and go from my room each day to know that someone cares and values them.

Motto:  Stemming from my professional goals comes my new motto for the year.  "Learning is a consequence of thinking."  I need my students (and myself) to be thinking so that we can all learn.  The two go hand in hand.  When my kids are off task and not thinking, they are not learning.  When my students are having to think and work through some situations in their heads, they are learning - not necessarily in the traditional format (which is a whole different post).  THINKING will be key in my classroom this year!

I hope everyone has a fantastic rest of the week, and I encourage you to post your own goals and link up at: I {heart} Recess.

I {Heart} Recess

Until next time - I wish you lots of thinking!


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