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?