Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Resolutions....

At the beginning of the school year, I always start with vigor and excitement.  Then as the school year becomes busy and hectic and some of my ideas seem to get placed on the back burner.  Winter break gives us a chance to rest and regroup.  Then New Year gives us time to think of resolutions.  I decided to make a few as an educator.

I resolve to:

Experiment, and Explore:  The past two months, I keep remembering something my daughter's pediatrician stated to me at her last check up, "You have to let her be herself."  Students need the time to be themselves and learn for themselves.  They need to be able to experiment, explore and learn on their own.  They need to be able to try things and if it doesn't work ponder why.  Students need the time to discover on their own and be themselves.  I resolve to give my students time to explore, try things, learn from their mistakes.  In addition, I plan on taking risks with my teaching and trying new projects.

Reflect:  Often we spend less time on the reflection than we should.  Students need to reflect on their own work.  They need to be able to evaluate themselves effectively and spend time learning how they learn best.  Reflection allows them to start becoming independent learners.  As they start to reflect on what works and what doesn't work as they are learning, they can then help begin to develop their own learning plans.  I also plan on spending time reflecting on my teaching and lessons in order to refine my own skills.

Find Balance:  Everyday over break something crossed my path about having balance in life.  Taking time to be with family, how to get organized to spend less time cleaning, how not using technology at times is good thing, how exercise can help in more than one way.  I think it is important to help students find balance and relax.  They often stress over the demands of school, parents, classmates, college acceptance, tests.  I would like to help my students find balance with their work load and I can start with mine.  I resolve to have check ins with my students about the work load, remind them if they miss a day or a homework assignment it isn't the end of the world.  They need to know that it is okay to not work some days and have some fun.  In fact we, as educators need that too.  We need to demonstrate in our own work days and loads that having balance is important.

I hope by making only three I can uphold and maintain them.