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Teacher Resolutions

January 2, 2015

As 2015 begins, I want to reflect on some necessary changes that need to happen within my teaching and learning.  I welcome feedback.  In fact, I yearn for it.  If you feel inclined or moved, please respond with a comment.  A complete list of resolutions would be much longer than four but these are the four that I will strive towards the most.  #lifelonglearner

1.  Getting to know my students better

Obviously getting to know my students learning styles and needs is imperative but I am talking about getting to know my kids on a more personal level.  I mean really understanding them and understanding their life.  Relationship building is paramount.  I try hard to always build positive relationships with my students.  I talk with them and joke with them.  But I can and need to do more.  To me, it is absolutely necessary.  I want to stop and talk to them.  The shuffle of the day can make that challenging.   My fifth graders move from one block to the next.  It is a busy schedule.  I see all 79 fifth graders everyday.  That is a privilege.  I need to slow down and talk more with the kids.  Understanding them better will create a space of trust which will lead to more learning.

2.  I must continue to learn

I need to challenge myself.  It is too easy to just get comfortable and relaxed by relying on things I have done in the past.  It’s not good enough.  I need to push myself to be better.  I am lucky to have fellow teachers, an administration, and a central office staff that will help me do this.  Even so, I must lead the charge for myself.  I want to utilize more resources.  I must read more and continue to grow as a lifelong learner.

3. It is not solely MY space or THEIR space…it is a LEARNING space for all

To be truthful, I know this, and I have worked with this philosophy for quite a few years now.  You could check out my previous posts to see examples.  Nonetheless, I still find myself limiting what happens in the classroom.  It is tough.  School schedules and state tests make this challenging.  In a perfect world, students would learn on their own with guidance from teachers and peers.  This, to me, is what school should be.  But alas, it is not.  Schools must have schedules and often they forfeit a lot to standardized testing.  In our learning space, we challenge this.  We will continue to do so but I can and should do more.  It is not my space or their space, it is a learning space for all.

4.  New techniques and strategies

Every year brings new and exciting resources and opportunities.  How many of those do we use in the classroom?  I think I let too much slip by without trying it out.  I am going to try new techniques and strategies this year to help myself become a better educator and learner.  What can I do better to help that ESOL student who quietly sits and compliantly works hard?  How can I improve my approach to helping students struggling with learning disabilities?  What can I do differently to help all of my students understand themselves better so that they can make improved learning decisions?

Again, this is a short list but filled with challenges.  Do you have classroom or teaching resolutions?


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