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Resolutions for 2013

Happy New Year everyone!

In the past I have posted my New Year's resolutions on our blog as a way to hold myself accountable and to encourage readers to share their own learning resolutions for the coming year. So this year I again extend the invitation to join me in publicizing your professional learning resolutions for 2013.

This year I have five resolutions for myself and for Learning Forward:

Commit to reading and learning with others. I feel like I am falling further and further behind in my reading. In 2013 I will set aside a minimum of 45 minutes per day for sustained and focused professional reading. I look forward to feeling a bit more caught up and sharing with you my thoughts on the many new books, articles and research findings I expect to be reading. If you want to suggest some for me, I would love to see your suggestions.

Develop expertise in new technologies to advance our learning. While I tweet, link, Facebook, and more, I feel there is much more I could be taking advantage of if I better understood all the benefits of these social media tools. So in 2013 I pledge to become proficient in one social media tool each month and then apply that tool to my work with our members and constituents. Perhaps this goal interests you and you want to join. Or perhaps you have tools you want to make sure are on my list.

Study the practices of countries beyond our own borders. Learning Forward espouses to be an international organization. However, we know very little about the practices of countries beyond North America. This next year I will become more knowledgeable in the professional development customs and practices of countries that are recognized for outperforming the U.S. and other countries who are equally committed to their educators and students. With the benefit of MetLife Foundation grant funding we will begin by studying the professional development policies and practices in countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, Poland, and Brazil. We will report on what we learn from these countries and how we can better connect with our global neighbors.

Stay abreast of Common Core and new assessment developments. These two initiatives are the most important changes taking place in education for some time. We must be vigilant in monitoring the implementation and ensuring that educators are getting the professional learning support they require to achieve deep and systemic implementation. This will remain at the top of the Learning Forward agenda, and you will continue to see many of us write about its importance and what we are learning.

Advocate for effective professional learning. The Standards for Professional Learning are key to successful implementation of all standards and assessments. Without effective professional learning, new initiatives are doomed to fail. In 2013 we will continue to advocate for effective professional development. This means advancing adoption of the standards in the remaining 40-plus states and ensuring everyone has the tools and resources to assess their professional development against them. We will work with the nation's largest school systems in their efforts to implement the standards, and we will continue to provide tools and resources to all our members and constituents committed to our shared vision of every educator engaging in effective professional learning every day so every student achieves.

Now that I have posted these resolutions, I also commit to bringing you updates on our efforts. 2013 is a year that will certainly bring us challenges and opportunities, and I am confident that we can address them when we collaborate, learn, and persevere.

Stephanie Hirsh
Executive Director, Learning Forward

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