Monday, August 20, 2012

Beginning my 10th Year...

Wow. Is 2012 over yet? This has been one of the most difficult years of my life and I am ready for it to be over. But, I wonder, is that fair to my students? I think not. So, in the next week, I'm trying with all my might to gain the strength and the energy to get excited about this school year...

A tentative agreement might help... I can only pray that it's on the way...

In the past several months, I've heard some difficult things about teachers. I've made some tough choices about my involvement in "fighting the good fight."  And I realized a great many things about myself in the process...

During these months, we've heard these kind of things...

"Teachers are greedy."

"Teachers are selfish."

"Teachers are self serving."

"Teachers work 177 days a year, 6 hours a day. It might as well be a part time job."

"Teachers are liars."

"The teachers should go on strike already, anybody would be happy to have their jobs."

"Anyone could do a teacher's job, how hard could it be?"

"Teachers coming out of college could make $30K, after a few years when they want to make more, they can go out and get real jobs."

"Teachers shouldn't make more than $75.000 a year."

"You should be happy you even have a job."

"You are caretakers of the unteachables."

And my personal fave... "The teachers are terrorists!"

Without telling the whole story of our Board of Education-Teacher- Support Staff Negotiations Saga this summer, I'm sure you can make your own assumptions about how well they are going judging by the QUOTES listed above.  Yes, those were actual quotes.

After a difficult school year last year, this was not the summer I anticipated. And after a summer full of stress and additional work, I don't feel rejuvenated for a new year. Not only that, I didn't spend the summer collaborating with other educators, reading teacher books, or LEARNING like I usually do. I didn't spend the summer honing my craft as I usually do. And now, I wonder, will I be letting my kiddos down?

So, I have to refocus.

I have to refocus on my kids and on my classroom and I have to set some goals for the year.

My own little IEP for the 2012-2013 School Year-

My Present Levels:
I have had my third grade students make e-portfolios for the past 2 years.
I have used iPads in our classroom for the past 1.5 years, mostly for drill and kill and motivational purposes.
I have participated on teams, typically as the leader, in our building, but tend to take on TOO much.
I have had my class participate in one Global Read Aloud with Flat Stanley.
I typically work 12-13 hours a day IN THE BUILDING.

Goal 1: By the end of the year, first and second graders will have created an e-portfolio in
            A.  Second graders will create e-portfolios in the first week of September.
            B.  First graders will create e-portfolios in the 2-3 week of September.
            C.  Second graders will add to their e-portfolio weekly.
            D.  First graders will add to their e-portfolio every other week.

Goal 2: During the school year, students will use iPads for a creation tasks at least 3 times each.
           A. Try out Puppet Pals.
           B.  Try out I Can Animate.
           C. Find another great App for Creation for my students (Garage Band? Poplet? Type Drawing?

Goal 3: During the school year, participate on school teams, as a valuable team member.

Goal 4: Participate in the Global Read Aloud with Charlotte's Web.
           A. Complete at least 3 Skype or Facetime sessions.
           B. Collaborate in at least 2 other ways with other classes.

Goal 5:  In any one day, leave the building after NO MORE than 10 hours of work.

I might be adding on in the upcoming days, but for now, if I can complete these tasks, I will feel that this is a great year.

What are your goals for your year?


Anonymous said...

You go for it, Morgan! I will eagerly be awaiting news about your progress on your goals! I'm especially going to check in about that 10 hour day- and just taking the work home and doing it there doesn't count.


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