To Dream the Impossible Dream…

I have been doing a lot of reading this summer looking for ways to improve my teaching, more so than I usually do. I have been mentally listing all the things I want to do this coming year and today I made the mistake of writing them all down. Here is my list so far…

  • Conduct Socratic Seminars (maybe once every two/three weeks)
  • Incorporate Project Based Learning or Inquiry Based Learning (should make sure to use the right word so the jargon police don’t come after me)
  • Read more novels with students in Lit Circles (or some group setting), as a whole class and as read alouds
  • Read more non-fiction with students
  • Schedule more independent reading during class time
  • Schedule more time for students to work on self selected assignments in class.
  • Start blogging with students
  • Research and practice better differentiation strategies for full inclusion classroom
  • Incorporate Readers’ Notebooks
  • Incorporate a more formal Writing Workshop
  • Modify current portfolio system to be more flexible to student needs
  • Incorporate backchannel/chatting in class whenever possible
  • Have students create multimedia presentations using variety of tools (which, of course, means I need to learn the tools)
  • Create and use class Diigo account (instead of alphabetized list down the side of my Edine page)
  • Create learning “centers” (in quotes since I just want places that students can work on what they need to with proper tools available)
  • Find more real publishing opportunites for students and use them
  • Write grants for more supplies (mainly cameras, maybe I-pods if I get fancy enough)
  • Keep up with PLN on Twitter and Nings.

This is in addition to the personal goals I have…

  • Spend more quality time with kids
  • Attend more playdates with my friends who have kids
  • Use the zoo passes more often (my girls’ favorite place to go of all time)
  • Visit family more (it’s not like they live far away)
  • Pay off credit card
  • Take on extra period if it’s offered to make extra money
  • Take daughter to ballet once a week
  • Maybe someday have a date night with hubby
  • And…oh yeah…write a blog about it all.

If you listen carefully, you can hear Don Quixote ( or Shirley Bassey ) singing, “To dream the impossible dream…” I know there are probably some teachers who possess astronomical organization skills as well as impeccable time management skills. Me, I already know  that that this list might be a tad on the large side, but what to cut? How to whittle my list down to the few things I know I can do well, rather than doing a bunch of great strategies poorly?  I don’t want to plan a day where I take the class to the library to watch the video I downloaded that morning because I was too busy the night before trying to grade the readers’ notebooks while my daughter was at ballet, only to find out that I forgot to assign this class to a chatroom for backchanneling and spend half the period fixing it while three teachers look on and say, “That’s why we don’t use technology. It’s too hard.”

How do I make this the possible dream? Or am I just chasing windmills?



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2 responses to “To Dream the Impossible Dream…

  1. I love your ambition and enthusiasm. I think it’s Vicki Davis (CoolCatTeacher) who I’ve heard talk about her focus on only 3 things at a time, and I think it’s a great philosophy. I’d start with a few and then start adding in others. Develop personal habits out of the behaviors and I know you can do them all! I love your lists!

  2. Big lists and big dreams are glorious. It is okay to dream big. Remember your life goals. Family matters most. Remember to take care of yourself so that you can achieve your goals and encourage your family members to achieve theirs as well.
    Kahlil Gibran said, “To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to do.”

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