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Renewing Our Professional Learning Commitment

I long ago stopped making New Year's resolutions. Instead, I have one desire for myself that never changes, even as one year glides almost unnoticeably into the next.

My daily and lifelong commitment is to be where I should be, doing what I should be doing, when I should be doing it. That's it. This pledge works for me both in my personal and professional lives. What I've learned is, if I pay attention to those three simple but difficult directives, I'll accomplish much more than by making a hollow resolution that I'd likely break in a matter of days.

As my thoughts turned to the idea of New Year resolutions, I couldn't help but imagine the resolutions being made by teachers and principals as they look toward the rapidly looming end of the school year. Particularly, I can guess that the members of the Learning School Alliance are probably re-visiting their professional learning plans. No doubt, many are making vows to focus on those plans and get serious about accomplishing what they promised to do.

What I hope the LSA teams will do, though, is keep it simple. I hope they will resolve to avoid making grandiose plans and promises that they can't or won't deliver. I hope they are seriously considering where they should be, what they should be doing, and when they should be doing it as it relates to creating and sustaining professional learning teams that put student learning first.

Maybe that's a commitment we all should be making in 2012.

Carol Francois
Director of Learning, Learning Forward

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