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Monday, December 11, 2017

Today's Focus: December 11, 2017

After a morning of big think, it's time to focus in on the day ahead--a very busy day.

The day will begin with our usual business minutes and quiet reading then move on to a school meeting. After that we'll focus in on the math goal of multiplying with decimals using the US traditional multiplication algorithm, models, and fractions--it will be a meaty lesson that requires good attention. They'll be plenty of time to practice that skill in the days that follow.

Our reading group will continue to learn about Joey Pigza and his will to solve everyone's problems and make peace in a family/neighborhood situation that's anything but calm. Later I'll cheer on our high school swim team and join family members for a special event. Onward.

Revisit Goals to Set Priority

I revisited my school year goals today to set priority, my main efforts as I begin 2018 include the following:

Math Education

  • attention to standards-based teaching
  • time for extra help sessions
  • attention and care related to students' individualized service/learning plans/practice
  • research/planning related to new curriculum
  • implementation with a focus on hands-on, investigative, relevant learning
  • focus on environmental stewardship
  • focus on STEAM teaching/experiences
Teaching Community
  • TPL, TAC, Faculty Senate, Focus Groups, Teacher Collaborative, (Child Study when time avails)
  • Local union efforts
  • Culturally proficient teaching efforts: WPSF signage grant, student/family events/efforts, curriculum efforts
  • Grant to develop continued teamwork, collaborative goal setting, planning, collective teaching
Professional Learning
  • Special education course via MTA professional learning events
  • Application to summer National Endowment of the Humanities Institute
  • Continued reading/study related to culturally proficient teaching, and embedding that research into math, science, and reading teaching efforts
  • Renewal of certification - Fall 2018
Knowing what's on the priority list makes it easier to say yes or no when learning/teaching opportunities present themselves since we can't do it all. 

Devote Time and Support to Efforts that Matter

With limited time and energy, it's important that we devote our time and support to efforts that matter. When we do that, we make a difference. So when faced with invitations, it's important to think about the invitation and decide if the effort is one that matters, and one that you can positively contribute to. It's also important to consider if the invitation is one that meets your vision, philosophy, and mission as an individual and professional.

It's similarly important to consider this when inviting people to join you in an endeavor--will your invitation resonate with their priorities, vision, and mission? Does the invitation touch upon goals that are mutual and collaborative, efforts that you're mutually interested in reaching?

As I think more about time, choosing, invitation, and endeavor, I am thinking about the following questions:
  • How can I contribute to and positively impact a positive culture in the classroom, at school, and within the school system? What matters here?
  • How can I positively contribute to a positive and proactive family culture? In what ways can I support those I love most in the world?
  • How can I contribute to the greater community--what organizations and efforts will I invest in?
  • How can I continue to develop and preserve good energy for these endeavors? What kind of positive routine translates into this kind of energy?
All of this think is supported by a positive vision, time to think, a positive routine, and camaraderie with others and pushes me in the direction of taking the time to dream a little more.