Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Goals for a New Year

Many teachers and students are already headed back to school. Depending on where you live you may have a few weeks left to enjoy before you head back to school, excited, inspired, and rejuvenated for a new year with new students. Since my job is a 12 month position I am not headed back to the grind after a summer off, but I am however reflecting on the past year and creating some goals for the 2014-2015 school year.

We all naturally head into the new year thinking about what it is we want to change, things to do better, things to experiment with, and certainly those few things that were such a catastrophe that they will never again see the light of day. I thought I would take this opportunity to write about some of my goals and put them out there for the entire world to see - or at least the one person who is now following my blog. Thanks Heather! Congratulations! You are my first "follower." There are no special prizes or gifts, but know that you have made me feel important. Pretty exciting for me. And really the inspiration for me to write this today.

Here are some of my professional goals for the following year.

  1. Blog more - Although this is only the 3rd blog post that I have added to this blog, I really do see the importance of it. According the stats, there are at least a few people reading what I write. Ideally they are reading and thinking about their practice - whether they agree or disagree with me is really unimportant. I also find blogging gives me a chance to reflect on my own beliefs and practices. I find myself thinking about possible blog topics while I am working out in the morning. This time allows me to collect and work through my thoughts. Most of the time these inner "conversations" never make it to the blog, but still hold value. 
  2. Get more people using Twitter as a part of their PLN - After working with many of the schools in the county where I work, very few are using Twitter as a professional learning tool. I sort of stumbled on Twitter as a PLN myself this year and am amazed at the interactions I have had and the information that is constantly being shared. I am often intimidated and feel that I am not an "expert" like those that I follow, but I am discovering that I do have valuable information to share. I would really like to have some teachers from every district following me on Twitter. Last week I gained my first followers from Pinal County. Very exciting. I think that a virtual PLN is vital to the success of our rural districts due to their isolation and their size. It's pretty difficult to collaborate and gain momentum for change when your whole department consists of one teacher. Pretty lonely conversation.
  3. Be part of at least one grant opportunity - This is definitely one of my weakest areas. I know next to nothing about grants, so I can not even make this goal more specific.
  4. Conduct a webinar - Our office has discussed several times of how to reach more teachers, especially those in outlining areas. Webinars are one solution that has been talked about, but no one has jumped on the train. Sad, but unfortunately it is reality. My goal is to regularly conduct webinars.
If you feel so inclined, comment and share ideas for my goals (how I can accomplish, if you think they are worthy, etc.) and/or share your goals for the year. I know that every teacher has great ideas and "big thoughts" for the new school year. Share some of these great ideas and goals and maybe you will inspire someone else.

Oh one more. I need to start wearing more shirts like this.