Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Education Resolutions for 2014

I like resolutions, or shall I say, I like the idea of resolutions. I think resolutions make us reflect on our lives and think about how we can change them for the better. Unfortunately, most people do not truly reflect, and therefore resolutions become fleeing exercises in self-vanity. Over the winter break, I had a chance to think over some resolutions for me as a teacher. They are not earth-shattering. They are small things I want to try, or areas I need to improve. The whole point is to provide the best learning environment for my students.

Make my classroom flatter!
We live in an public, sharing world, yet schools are still isolated, self-contained systems. It has never been easier to bring in other teachers, professionals, or leaders from across the world.  Scientists are available to skype and you can follow authors using Twitter. Kids can blog and share their writing with students in all parts of the country. Our audience is not confined to the people within our four walls. This is exciting for students and makes learning relevant and real. We can now open up learning and make the world our classroom.

Eat lunch with my students
Teachers need and deserve breaks throughout the day, but it shows students a lot if you are willing to come down to their level once a week or a few times a month.

Students do not need more tests, pop quizzes, or even exit slips. They do need support and authentic feedback to improve and repair mistakes. I need to make a more intentional effort to really observe my students as they work, build, and learn. As a professional, I can often tell right away when a students may need another resource, a partner, or some other help. I want to be better at supporting students on their learning path.

Explain my ideas
Students deserve to know the why, the how, and the what! How can I better express my ideas, theory, and philosophy each day so they understand why we do things in the classroom? In the process, I hope they share their thoughts and ideas about why as well.

I love this idea.

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