Honestly, while I was reading and then subsequently doing the activity to figure out what I wanted to commit to, I struggle mightily with selecting one thing that I really wanted to work on. In many ways, my ego got in the way of my ability to really drill down, but as I started to think about what stung the most from last year's experiences, it was my own inability to get past insecurities and trust myself the way that I do in the classroom. Ultimately, this lack of confidence made difficult conversations one of the weak points in my ...
Guest blogger Tara Brown says, "Helping kids feel seen, heard and validated sends a clear message that kids are more important than content. Every emotional deposit, every positive connection from adults in the building increases a child's sense of well being and desire to be a part of the process. School staff who lead with their hearts have a strong commitment to making sure that every person's day is better because they interacted with me."
Each year we must consider what we have worked on and make a decision on a new focus that builds on what came before. This year, my #oneword is commitment; what's yours?
As we build more authentic learning environments, we must all seek to be compassionate toward those we work with. A warm smile and a positive attitude go a long way and it is our duty during the school day to ensure that all people feel safe and have what they need to be successful.
Last year I worried about every decision I made, reaching out to someone before I decisively made any movement - at least at the beginning. This year, I am clear on what we are doing and I'm sending a focused message to all I speak with and I look forward to our first department meeting where we can start to zero in on the work.
So as I "enjoy" the butterflies that are starting to flutter, I take a deep meditative breath as I jump into a new school year with my eyes, my heart, and my mind wide open knowing that this will be the best year ever.
Understandably, educators are always planning for the worst case scenarios, but sometimes, it is both necessary and important to let go of materials, lesson plans, supplies that no longer suit the job we are doing. It can also be a great opportunity to share those resources with other teachers who may use what is no longer useful to us for the benefit of all kids.
We have to do a better job as a profession to assess students in meaningful ways and then find ways to share that data. The standards surely help us know the skills we are trying to teach, but we are also trying to raise young men and women to become functioning members of society, good people who will have to perform in a variety of different ways to be successful depending on their given career paths. Why don't we agree that students shouldn't be tested in this way because it is easier? Shouldn't we find a more effective and equitable ...
Instead of a plan book, I have a calendar and a to-do list that will help inform the first month of school. This upcoming week we have preplanning meetings and administrative check-ins. I'll eagerly listen and participate so that I can make sure our team gets what it needs.
Ultimately, as leaders, we have a big job of helping adults help children while promoting an atmosphere that embraces change, failure, and growth for the greater successes that come from them all.