I was introduced to the educational side of Twitter within the last few years. In the past few months I have become a more active Twitter user. This is my 5th year of teaching and my 3rd year at the middle school. I’ve been pushing myself to learn more and also taken on more responsibilities at school. When I first started teaching I did what I needed to do and kept my head down. Each year that I taught I think I got a little more brave and stood my ground a little more firmly.
Now, I have a hard time saying “no”. When someone asks for my help, if they need someone for a committee, or students are asking for something, I will more than likely say “yes!” Last school year I remember feeling scattered and overwhelmed. I really enjoyed all of my activities and obligations, but I wasn’t managing my time well. I was spending hours at school during the weekend and late at night. I had just started two new classes for students and was finding it hard to keep up.
This year my husband and I live in the town next to where we work, so it is harder for me to be at school on the weekends and late at nights, and it has been a blessing! As the school year started I took on new projects again, but I had a better handle on classroom management and lesson planning. As I started getting more involved in Twitter I also realized I had a lot of interests and professional goals!
What a dilemma! At first, I wanted to take on all of these new ideas, try these new things, and be on every committee. One of the new projects I took on this year was turning my after-school coding grant into the very first makerspace at Spearfish Middle School! Then a co-worker and I partnered with our local University to offer a Robotics Competition to students. A personal goal of mine was to work on my Google Certification. As I started one of these projects and got into the swing of it, I would pick up another new thing right after.
I started this blog because I want to be a more reflective and connected educator. In the process of reflecting on my projects and my time I realized that I needed to focus. I can’t, and I shouldn’t, be trying to do it all. I should pick the things that are most important to me right now and focus my energy on them! I really love to read, for professional development and for pleasure. When I thought about how I needed to focus my professional goals I realized that it would help me with my professional reading list as well!
So, what areas did I decided to focus on?
- makerspaces- I really want to do more professional reading on makerspaces from some of the experts in the field, like Laura Fleming
- Google Certification- I would really like to complete my Level 2 Certification by the end of the school year
- mindset & professional growth- After reading Teach Like a Pirate I would like to read Learn Like a Pirate and the other books put out by Dave Burgess. Another book on my list that fit into this theme is the Innovator’s Mindset
- collaborative staff member- I would like to learn how to make myself more available to staff when they need help with technology, all things Google, makerspaces or robotics. I would also love to learn more about co-teaching and co-teach again (once wasn’t enough!!)
- reflective teacher- I need to continue to be dedicated to reflecting on my practice. I think blogging is a key piece of being reflective and I hope to get better at it with practice
How do you maintain focus on your goals? What are your professional goals?