I read somewhere you should only attempt to change 10% of your practice at once. It makes sense. I think back to my first few years teaching–I was trying to change and refine everything. Cringing at how poorly some things worked, I changed in the middle of the year, trying again and again to get things right.
The year I was pregnant was super rough. I had one of my hardest groups (a very small double period at the end of the day with a rowdy combination of students) and did not have an easy pregnancy either. My focus was on staying afloat. I took a year off for maternity leave and last year my focus was on getting back into the swing of things, organizing my three preps, switching rooms, etc.
I have a lot I’d like to work on this year. I’m making a concerted effort to choose only a few things though. I don’t want to be so ambitious nothing quite gets done–I want to truly build new habits that will impact my practice long term. With that in mind, I’m choosing 3 things to focus on for the next year:
- Physical organization: restarting my binders and file folders from scratch (my plan is to move things over only as they are used and get rid of the rest at the end of the year), getting my activities organized and sorted, generally trying to actually use all the resources I’ve amassed.
- Blogging. As part of the organization, I’ve spent time this summer on our master planning document for Algebra 1. I read through my own blog (as well as many others) and found good ideas I’d forgotten. Writing helps me process and reflect and I enjoy it. There’s another class in my room 1st period so that might be a great time to use for blogging.
- Instruction. I *think* this one will be including more inquiry and discovery type activities, but I need to make sure that my team is on board too–we hope to follow each other fairly closely so if they aren’t interested in this as a goal, I’ll need to choose a different instructional goal.
I considered making tech use or grading a goal, but it took a backseat to the things above, and I want to make sure I can focus. I’m hoping that keeping myself focused on these three things will show big improvements!
What are your instructional goals?