I am a big fan of setting goals, but meeting them has never been a big deal for me. Maybe it was growing up talentless in a family of athletes, but to me goals always implied that the destination was more important than the journey. That said, I tend to start the year with a set of things I want to work for and expand from there. If a goal is abandoned, so be it. The point is that I keep pushing myself, knowing that frustration and distraction, like roadside attractions, can be just as memorable as reaching your destination.
My goals for this year are as follows:
- Completely abandon the paper and pencil grade book that forces me to enter my grade twice, first in the paper grade book and secondly into the electronic one. This had led to a last minute scramble at the end of the year that I only survived through the pity of my co-workers.
- Use my school’s new RTI (response to intervention) period to expand interest in the following programs within my classroom:
- Student Newspaper/Blog
- Reading Club
- Science and Engineering Club
- Create a self-directed Khan Academy program within our school as an alternative to advanced math classes.
- Use my Moodle Page more efficiently, hopefully working in some grammar lessons, as well as a way to create a portfolio-based writing project.
- Develop the best Neville Longbottom costume possible for Halloween. How I will manage to carry the sword of Gryffindor, a cactus, and a toad needs to be sorted out.
- Build a massive igloo with my students using Pi to calculate its volume and estimate the cubic feet of snow used to build it. Knowing how March is in Wisconsin, we might even do this on Pi Day (3-14)
- Teach most, if not all, of my class a simple C-F-G7 chord progression on the ukulele.
- Use my iPad to better organize my lesson planning and instruction.
- Manage to keep my classroom from turning into a junkyard by the end of the year.
- Build a lot of great memories with the minimum number of regrets and missed chances.
I can’t help but feel that most of these are goals for myself. I don’t know yet what my goals will be for my students. I guess I am less concerned about what my students goals are, only that they have a goal for themselves, that they push themselves and try a little bit harder this year than they did last year. I guess that’s a goal that my students and I can share in.
What are your feelings going into the year? What are your plans for completing them?