Monday, September 1, 2014

Taking the Challenge! Great teachers are reflective teachers - so let's all join in as we reflect on our best teaching practices throughout the month of September. More information about the challenge can be found at

September 1, 2014

Prompt: Write your goals for the school year. Be as abstract or specific as you'd like to be!

Time, time, time...there is never enough. My goals for this year all center around finding better ways to maximize my time. As a teacher, wife, mother, leader, daughter, etc there are lots of demands on my time. I know I'm not unique in this situation.

In the classroom, I want to improve the feedback I provide my students. Many times I am very generic, and it can sometimes fall to the student to seek out more specific feedback. This year I want to try a system of having the kids annotate their own work with feedback I give to the whole class, and then follow up with more individual comments. Timeliness if also critical, and I'd like to improve how quickly I return assignments, tests, and essays.

Another goal involves continuing our implementation of Common Core standards into our curriculum. Our Social Science department had a significant head start on Common Core, thanks to our heavy use of primary sources and our involvement with the UC Davis History project, but we need to continue to push forward with our refinements. Collaboration and teamwork are critical, so no one person assumes too much of a burden on their time. (Needless to say, sharing the work also means letting go of some of the control - something else I need to work on!)

Our school has made some incredible improvements over the last two years. Our staff has been reinvigorated, and our students are determined to succeed. I see one key component of this turnaround based in positive reinforcement. Our students need to be rewarded for a job well done! Our Renaissance program has taken several hits, but I really want to push through and continue. Persevere and grow the program - my mottos for the year.

Many people talk about the need for personal time. This year I want to do a better job of actively scheduling personal time, and making good use of it. At the end of each day I want to be able to articulate what I did that was productive - for my job, for my family, and for me.

Time management and balance - I'm not sure I can ever achieve it, but each year I try to get just a bit closer!

What are your goals for the year?

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