Monday, December 29, 2014

Navigating a Storm: Teaching Well

A friend of mine is a religious follower of Dan Rockwell, author of Leadership Freak. Her recommendation prompted me to sign up for the follow too. Rockwell offers countless tips and advice on leading well. This information can be applied to our work as educators as one way to improve our work and service.

Today Rockwell discusses how to navigate a storm. It's good advice and the kind of information that's good to clip, save, or store for a moment when a storm arrives.

Last year, met with an unexpected storm, I could have used this advice, but now moving beyond it I'll use his final tips as I continue to move forward:

Not only is his advice good for a storm, but it's also good for the new year of teaching and learning

1. Set your priorities: What is your main focus for the next leg of the school year. For me, it's meeting my evaluation goal which is apt teaching of all grade-level math standards.

2. Develop and explain plans: Standard by standard the students and I will study, learn, and practice until we reach mastery. We'll review previously learned standards often.

3. Clarify what doesn't matter: Mostly I have to focus on my charge, the education of 44 fifth graders with regard to math and science. I can contribute to issues beyond the classroom, but those issues don't matter as much as the work I do that directly impacts the students I teach.

4. Track Progress: I've been using a Google spreadsheet to do this in math. Now it's time to create a similar Google spreadsheet to track the science math. I'd also like to track needs met, attitude, and effort with a bit more attention.

5. Go public: Well, if you read my blog, you know that's not going to be a problem :)