It is hard to believe that this school year is over. From having the most awesome student teacher ever to having the most beautiful daughter ever, I feel like the 2015-2016 school year was a whirlwind combination of hormones, mentorship, chocolate, and absence. My students were amazing, funny, and made me proud. I came back to a classroom that prior to my maternity leave was traditional and after my maternity leave was 1:1 with Chrome books. I have a lot to be thankful for, including Google Classroom, working in a place that welcomes creativity and innovation, and, now, a whole summer to marinate ideas in my brain.
Summer is the time for teachers to relax, rejuvenate, and focus on professional development. Hence (drumroll, please), my top five 2016-2017 school year goals.
- I need to figure out how to help my students improve as readers. This summer, I need to explore Zaption and think about how to make reading more interactive for students.
- Last year, I was able to dip my toes into the world of flipped learning. I think that I did a fairly good job with holding students accountable for their learning through use of Google Forms; however, I would like to explore EdPuzzle and find ways to make these videos interactive (hmm, I’m seeing a trend here) and find ways to use them effectively to differentiate instruction.
- Find how to most effectively use my 1:1 technology in the classroom. I piloted the use of Seesaw at the end of the year and plan to use it next year to allow students to self-publish and have a real world audience. I want to continue using Google Classroom, as well, and make digital interactive notebooks for students to use.
- Bring back the 20% project (autonomy, mastery, and purpose) that I didn’t get a chance to do this past school year.
- Explore ways to use the writer’s workshop model to teach writing and hold students accountable for their work. I have felt for a number of years that the trend in my school (not sure about elsewhere…) is to ask for more, more, more from teachers without teaching students how to be their own editors and thinkers. With two kids I can no longer spend most of the weekends grading (who wants to do that anyway?!) and I need to find a way to streamline the formative feedback process so that students are not relying on my comments to show them what to edit…or receiving feedback and making only grammatical changes.
I’m super excited about the opportunity to continue learning and developing in what will be my 12th teaching year. What are your goals for next school year?