Motivated by Kelly Hines (whom you should follow) and her post on her goals for the new year, I've been thinking about my own. I already had goals, but it's always good to write them down. It's going to be a different type of year for me. Even though this will be my eighth year teaching, I feel like it's my rookie year. Twenty years ago I began teaching high school math. After fifteen years away from the classroom, I came back to my first love last fall. That in itself was an adjustment. This summer my principal asked me to get certified in science and teach 6th grade! And more changes will come next year for me.
I've been blessed to land a position in a school with a progressive minded principal who is willing to let his teachers take risks. I never have to worry about trying to convince him why we should try to implement something new or different that will benefit the students. It's great having lots of technology options. When I left teaching the first time, cutting edge technology was the graphing calculator. But it's not about the technology - just read here and here. It's about how you use the technology. Both are part of my goals and here they are.
1) Learn from Others
2) Provide Plenty of Opportunities for my students, colleagues, and myself to Explore, Inquire, and Create
3) Implement Technology with Good Pedagogy
4) Share, Share, Share
Honestly, when I look at my goals, I really only see two - Share and Implement. I'm excited about the sharing part but it's hard. I came up with what I believe are some cool activities to do this year. It would be so easy to keep them to myself and then say after the fact, "Look at the cool lesson I developed." But, if I'm doing it for the good of my students, shouldn't all students in the school benefit? Shouldn't I want to help my colleagues instead of sitting back and pointing out how they never do stuff like this? So, I shared these ideas with the whole faculty. Now they can all modify my activities to fit their situations. All students will be better off.
I've learned a lot about sharing this year. The other math teacher on my hallway last year was a huge help. She shared her experience, wisdom, and resources with me. My kids were so lucky I had her as a teammate. I began my PLN on Twitter and literally hundreds of people have shared their experience, wisdom, and resources with me. My students will continue to benefit. I look forward to continuing to share back and forth with my PLN.
Sharing is the only way to make positive change. Some people really want to change but have no idea where to start. Remember what it was like to be a first year teacher and you had all those questions? There might be a twenty year veteran who feels the same way about implementing technology in an effective way. Soon your generosity will have others coming to you, asking for help. In the end, students benefit all the way around. And that's what it's all about.