I have a confession to make. Planning ahead isn't my speciality. I start the year planning ahead with creative and exciting lessons. But then sometime around Thanksgiving it falls away, and I wind up repeating the same old tired lessons. I think this is normal. Most of hit a brick wall around Thanksgiving. I don't know if it is because the holidays are coming, or if we have been teaching for a few months and are running out of steam. It is these times when proactive work from an administrator is beneficial. My mother in law was a high school principal for about 20 years before she retired. She said that this is when she planned extra support and motivation for her teachers, from simple words of encouragement, to asking if they needed her to cover a class in order to observe a colleague. I, as a teacher, also need to be proactive, knowing that I tend to struggle through this time, with good plans already set. Somehow I forget how much fun and easy teaching is when you have a good plan. One that you have put thought into and mapped out far in advance. However, this year is different. Being proactive will save me a lot of headaches as I balance my EDL coursework, a new curriculum, new school environment to learn, and two kids at home.
As I watched Dr. Pumpian discuss the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, I realized that these habits could help me stay focused and on track this year. My "new teacher mentor" and I discussed the 7 Habits assignment. The consensus we came to is that we can use these habits to help cultivate the change that the school has been lacking for a long time. My principal talked with me about the changes he has been trying to get the staff to buy into for a while when I had my final interview. He really seems to want to move the school to a better place. He wants to foster innovation, and told me not to be afraid of an "untested" lesson falling apart. It happens. The change he feels is necessary that hasn't been an easy sell to many stakeholders. By being proactive we can help grease the wheel of innovation by:
Of course it won't be possible to create meaningful change overnight, it is going to take a great deal of time. However, I believe that during the scope and sequence of our course we will be able to have a foundation take shape and see how our school will improve.