It is 9pm and the heat from the day is still rising off the blacktop. I drag my feet through the parking lot and heave open the glass door and sidestep out of the way of two sweaty bodies. Why am I here? Goals, I mutter. I eventually made it to the woman’s workout room and eye the elliptical I will be tackling.
Summer, just like the New Year, is a time to reflect on the past and to look forward to what is to come. In education, we are exhausted in June, but by August 1, we start having school dreams, and then realize it’s time to make our “new school year resolution” and start creating goals for the new school year.
What are your goals? One of my fav books I read this year is the End of Average: How we Succeed in a World of Sameness by Todd Rose. After this read, my passion for creating conditions where the individual characteristics are celebrated and student love to learn was on fire, and I knew my goals would include the influence of Rose’s words. This quote is the impetus for my change:
Ugh…we cannot let the education system continue to “round out kids!” We have to do something about this. Next, I had to dig into the “usual” — what can go? In the past, I taught at a great elementary school that had wonderful intentions for its learning community. But I was told, ” Beth, you can do it all! You no longer have a plate, you have a platter.” We all want to be able to do everything, but we know that in order to something well, we need to clear some clutter off the plate (not just enlarge the plate to a platter).
Check out this article from EdTech Update for examples of “old” to “new” practices that can help spur a resolution and support future-ready students. For example:
The Old: Administer assessment, evaluate performance, report performance, then–maybe–make crude adjustments the best you can
The New: Identifying, prioritizing, and evaluating data for each student individually–in real time
The Difference: Precision
Because my position encompasses the support of many districts, my goal will be to support and influence as many decision-makers to build student-centered learning environments.
What will your new school year resolution be? Have you read a book or blog, seen a movie (like Lion), attended a conference, had a great conversation, or participated in a twitterchat that made reflect on your practice? Now is the time to make the change.
I have not organized my music playlists yet (another goal), so I search for popular music videos on YouTube. My workout on the elliptical is grueling, but I perk up when the song “Glorious” by Macklemore (featuring Skylar Grey) pops up on my iPhone. Check out that video – we should live in the moment everyday…and live out our resolutions.