I am not one for making New Year’s resolutions. I do, however, make a list of resolutions for each new school year. The start of the school year and my birthday are in close proximity. So, I think that both of those situations combine to create an impetus for reflection and change.
My resolutions for the new school year…
1. Banish education buzz words whenever possible
Good instruction is good instruction. Call it STEM, STEAM, STREAM. Call it Common Core. Call it 21st Century learning. Call it…whatever. Put students first. Learning, and joy, are certain to follow.
2. Listen, the way that I want someone to listen to me
When someone speaks to me, I will listen. I will listen the way that I expect my students to listen me – with solid eye contact, focused attention and an open mind. It is really super tough to be a good listener typing away on my phone, iPad or laptop.
3. Resist the feeling that I must implement every tool/resource that I stumble upon
Oh, how tweets with the “10 top tools for (enter content area)” suck me in. No more. I will resist. I will step off of the “Top 50 iPad Apps” bandwagon.
This school year, I will take a more critical look at each tool/resource before adding it to my toolbox. Is it right for my students? Does the tool/resource inform instruction the way I need it to in my classroom?
4. Reach out to other classrooms
Love the idea of #mysteryskype. Committing to making this happen.
5. Rethink storyboarding
Steve Dembo’s session at DENSI, “Storytelling for the YouTube Generation” was awesome. During the presentation, Steve made a comment that this generation doesn’t storyboard the way students before them did. And, that was tough for me to hear. I am a storyboarding freak. Consequently, my students storyboard for their lives. Thinking that I should to reconsider how I implement storyboarding in my classes. When is it necessary? And, when it not necessary?
6. Don’t live “up there”
I have worked hard to establish my PLN – in the DEN and out of the DEN. My DEN friends are the most brilliant educators that I know. They inspire me, they challenge me and they offer unconditional support.
With that being said, I need to step back. I need to remember back to a time before I had a PLN. How did I feel when I didn’t have someone to bounce ideas off of? What did I do when I needed support and didn’t know where to turn? I hope that through considering these questions that I make a better effort to connect with educators outside of my PLN. Educators that might struggle with bringing technology into their classrooms. Educators that need help but do not know where to go or how to ask for help.
And lastly, on a non-edtech note…
7. Take cues from my dog
Wag more. Bark less. Nap whenever possible. Count on a walk to make all things better.
Best wishes to all for a productive, fun and adventurous school year!