Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 1: Goals for the year

One goal I have this year is to utilize this blog more.  I came across this 30-day blogging challenge for teachers. I thought it was the jump start I needed since my personal challenge is to blog all 180 days of school. A lofty goal, I know, but I am committed to try.

Fittingly, day 1 of the challenge is to write about my goals for the year. As usual I have many and feel as though I am choosing to reinvent my year once again. Despite my 14 years of teaching 7th grade, I simply can't do things like I did the previous year. I feel that each year, my new students deserve more than for me to serve up the same lessons. First because my last-year students end up teaching me so much.  Learning is definitely reciprocal, and I bring into the next year all the successes and flops from the previous year to steer me in a different direction. Second because the students that I will meet tomorrow are all individuals who I will try to get to know and teach them wherever they are at. Since my new kids are not carbon copies of my formers then how could my teaching be?

I also will be starting September with my class set of Chromebooks. Having these tools have allowed me the freedom to not only dramatically rethink my curriculum but are helping me to realize some of my teaching dreams. This year I have the goal of making my student's learning truly personalized as they embark on a year-long inquiry on something they are passionate about. Something they are curious about. Something they will choose to learn more about this year. In doing so, we will use the 7th grade curriculum to further our inquiries culminating in an end-of-the-year project to present our work.  I am very excited!

I wil end with some goals that for me as a teacher will never change. That my students feel safe in my classroom. That they walk in with relief to be in my classroom rather than dread. That they feel respected to share their thinking and writing with no fear of being laughed at or ridiculed.  That they see me as an advocate who is fair and willing to listen.  I start each year with these and feel I could always do more than the year before. And so I try. 

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