Think long and hard about your true north. Where are you headed? What ends do you have in mind? Goals for career, year, month, week?
These are some deep questions.
At the beginning of each school year, I ask the students what they want to be when they grow up. I then ask them how they are going to achieve their goal. What type of schooling they will need, where they need to live, all those pesky details we are being asked to consider this week. I've never really planned the entire year before, let alone a month, or my entire career. I always know what I have to do based on the content standards, but I don't really map it out annually. Usually I go week to week, but after talking about this habit with my colleague, we decided to take a look at mapping out the year. Of course this can change depending on creative light bulbs and ideas for projects, but the basic year is going to be planned. We will formally write out our weekly lesson plans, outline the monthly plan, and keep to our year long plan. We really need to continue to be proactive and stick to the plan of forward planning.
My wife and mother in law asked me the other day what my career goals are. Ironic that I am posting about this today, when we had a lengthy discussion on this very topic just last week. Since we should begin with the end in mind, I envision my end goal, and the reason for enrolling in this particular program, is that I see myself at the district level in a Director of Instructional Technology position. My best example if my former boss in North Carolina, when I worked as an Instructional Technology Specialist. He worked in his office four days of the week, the other day he was in the schools side by side with teachers, planning, and co-teaching lessons. This helped him stay focused on the whole point of everything he worked on the other four days, What is the student experience and how does technology increase access to and understanding of the curriculum?
In order to be even remotely qualified for that post, I need to complete my Masters. Not only do I need the degree, but I need to be able to incorporate what I learn into my daily instructional practice. I have already begun to use techniques I learned ver the Summer in our 680 course into my class. They have created google sites and are blogging their essays and other projects (similar to what I am doing right now). We have had some success and other teachers are interested in bringing this concept into their classrooms. That is the goal for me and my colleague that I am bringing on the Habits Journey with me. We want to end the year with a roadmap and framework ready to begin next year with all 6th grade teachers using this google site format. We want the consistency so when they get to 7th grade, all the students will have the same level of experience and same google site portfolio of 6ht grade work.
I love the show, The West Wing. My wife and I watch it on Netflix sometimes. If you want a political drama that is based on the issues of the late 90s and early 2000s the this show is for you. It also has phenomenal writing. One episode called, "Disaster Relief," two characters, Toby (chief communications officer) and Leo (White House Chief of Staff) are talking about their plans for the immediate future. Leo looks at Toby and says, "I'm just trying to get through the week." I think that many teachers get into that frame of mind. By combining last weeks Habit of "Be Proactive" and this weeks Habit of "Begin with the End in Mind" we can avoid the stress of "just trying to get through the week."