January 11, 2016
Quote of the Week
I have been doing lots of reading this week about goal and resolution setting. It is such a difficult journey. For those of you who go to a gym, think about how crowded it is the first two weeks of January and by the third week of January back to the normal crowd. What is the difference? Why do so many set goals each year and so few accomplish them? Could be tenacity? Probably is a bit, but I also think it is more. I mean everyone who is setting goals must have some desire to change which creates a bit of tenacity in and of itself.
I read a blog this week that spoke of two men that set a goal ......to make it to the top of Mount Everest. These two men, Hillary and Norgay, did what most thought was impossible and were the first to make it atop Mount Everest in 1953. Now what they did was hard. Well, that word really doesn't describe the difficulty of what they did, However, their goal was simple. Make it from Point A to Point B. Easy to understand....we are at the bottom and want to make it to the top. Many goals are more mucky than that. "I want to get healthy in the New Year." "I want to be a better parent in 2016." Goals such as these are not simple, linear lines but rather jaggedy with many different paths to traverse.
Teaching is like this too. There are hundreds of Everests each year. What do you want to accomplish for your students? Do you want to make sure they make it to third grade? Do you want to make sure you accomplish all of your standards to 80% proficiency? What do you want to accomplish professionally? Do you want to integrate more technology this year? Do you want to work on teaching bell to bell? Teaching involves thousands of skills. It is not reasonable to think that you can work on all of these nor be an expert at them all.
Mike Rutherford, an educator who does professional development focusing on high performance teaching, asserts that what educators should be focusing on is their strengths and not their weaknesses. You can make greater gains according to him this way. While you can improve your weaknesses, your gains will be less.
So, define your Everest. Narrow it down. What is the one thing that you are intrigued by? What makes you eager to come to work? This narrowing down gives you clarity, purpose, and a much greater chance of making real change, learning, and reaching greater heights with your students.
News and Notes
Next Buddy Day is January 25: The theme is Warm Up with some Reading!
PD on the Couch
Critiquing and the Power of Sentence Stems: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/student-to-student-feedback-nea?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest
Smile of the Week
(And if you haven't tried out Spotify, talk to me....it's awesome!)
(Anyone else notice that 5/10 were 80's songs? Just saying.)