Monday I begin my 10th year of teaching. I can’t believe how they have flown by! And with each new year, comes a whole new list of goals for myself and for my students. This year my goals haven’t changed much from the past, but I still need to focus on improving in these areas.
Communication- This year I want to improve my communication with parents. I have steadily gotten better at this and become more confident as the years have gone on. I’m already off to a decent start this year with a parent welcome letter that I’m sending before school even begins. (You can read it here if you want to!) I hope to do better with positive communication throughout the year by calling parents or sending home Praise Referrals. In addition, I am using Remind this year to help keep students and parents in the loop. As I write this, I’m sitting in New Teacher Orientation where our administrators Jennifer Hogan and Carrie Busby are talking to new teachers about communication. I’m going to add calling all parents to introduce myself at the beginning of the year. I’ll be honest, that one is going to be a little harder.
Time Management- You’d think by now, I’d have a system. Instead, my system is procrastinate until the last minute, and then panic because of the stacks of papers that need graded asap. I’ll be honest, I am really bad about wasting my planning period. During the period when I’m in the teacher workroom, I talk or listen to fellow teachers talk about their students, their classrooms, their personal lives. During the period when I stay in my room, I end up wasting time rearranging books, or cleaning my desk–I mean, I just can’t work in that environment, you know? Ugh. This means that I end up bringing stacks of work home with me. So, I get home, take the dogs out, start dinner, sweep the floor, grade some papers, briefly talk to my husband, eat dinner, and then fall into bed, exhausted. This has to change, for my sanity, my marriage, and my students. My goal this year, then, is to use my off periods wisely. Use the time to efficiently take care of grading and planning, so I have less to do at home. Two days a week I stay late to go to my kickboxing class in the evening, so I have two days worked in to accomplish tasks that can’t be completed during the school day. Hopefully by being more intentional about my time, I can use my precious time at home to read, relax, spend time with my husband, ride my horse, and recharge for the next day. 🙂
Goals for my students:
Reading and Writing- I am obsessed with reading PD books, and one of my favorite PD authors is English teacher Kelly Gallagher. He is absolutely AMAZING. If you are an English teacher and you haven’t read his work, well you are seriously missing out. I recently saw him in a workshop and everything he said struck a chord with me, causing me to arrange most of my plans for the year. This year my students are going to read and write every day. You may think, well what else would you do, you’re an English teacher? Touché. I honestly don’t know, besides a lot of discussion. I mean, we do read and write daily, but I feel like I’m not as purposeful as I need to be. This year I am going to try to spend ten minutes each day both writing and reading. Some days that will include reading a poem, annotating it, discussing it, and then writing about it. Other days we may read an article, a novel, or some other text (right now in my school bag there is the manual for installing a ceiling fan that my husband and I struggled through this summer). I will expand on this in future posts once I flesh it out.
Okay, while I have many more goals than those I listed here, these are the three I most want to be held accountable for. I’ll try to share my struggle with these goals throughout the year.
Good luck this year, everyone! Here we go!