Goals for a New Year

Hello! Long time, no blog. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend much of my summer traveling – some with students, some without students – and made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t start working on stuff for the new school year until August. Since we don’t start until the Tuesday after labor day, that still left me a month to get things done and I feel pretty good about my progress so far. I’m only adding one new prep this year (a 4/AP split) so much of my attention has been put toward developing solid units and assessments for those kids, and I’ll be tweaking levels 2 and 3 once I’m done with that. This will be the first time ever (in the 3 years I’ve been teaching, at least) that I won’t be teaching French 1! I’m excited that my program is growing and I get to move along with my upper-level kids, but it’s still weird to think I won’t have those new ones in the fall!

In any case, I wanted to make a list of goals for this new school year, in the hopes that putting them online might make me more accountable.

  1. Commit to my own personal wellness: At first glance this may seem non-classroom-related, but if I don’t take care of myself first, I can’t be at my best in the classroom. Unfortunately, this is the one that tends to fall by the wayside quickly. I want to recommit myself to me this year – this means making the time to exercise regularly, having a healthy (protein!!) breakfast every morning, and setting work limits for myself.
  2. Keep up with grading and feedback: I am notoriously bad at this, and last school year was the worst its ever been. I think it may have had something to do with having no prep hour – everything had to be done before or after school, and at a certain point I had to stop myself before I burned out. This meant that grading and feedback often went by the wayside until, ironically, I had so much to do that I felt like I was drowning in papers and rubrics. I am hoping that my school district’s new gradebook integration with Schoology will help alleviate some of these issues.
  3. Bring CI, context, and a little bit of passion to each of my units: Sometimes last year I followed the pacing and content of our textbooks more closely than I wanted, and found myself asking, Why am I teaching them this? I wasn’t giving the kids the CI they needed in those moments. There was no context. I certainly wasn’t passionate about it and neither were they and worse – it wasn’t really about their proficiency, it was about me trying to control their learning and push them toward concepts they weren’t really ready for (object pronouns in the past tense, anyone??). No more! (Or, more realistically – a little less!).
  4. (Wo)man up: This is hard for me as I have a relatively passive personality – I hate conflict of any variety and tend to say “yes” more than I should, even to students. I need to get better at saying “no.” It won’t kill them to hear it. Boundaries need to be enforced, and my class expectations need my follow through in order to be effective. In short, I need to start acting like the 27-year-old adult that I am 🙂

So there you have it! My goals for 2015-2016. Bring on year four!

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