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Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Long View: 2016-2026

Taking the long view often helps you with the short view.

What is my long view as I look ahead?

As I think about my professional and personal efforts in the next ten years, I have the following outlook:

Team
I want to continue to develop my ability to be a good team member. In our world today, team is critical. The only way we will support one another and work to effect promising change and action is to work as a team. I am fortunate to work with a dynamic team at my grade-level, and this gives me lots of positive practice with teamwork. I am also fortunate to have a strong school team and family team in this regard. The goal for this sense of team is to help one another move forward with our best possible efforts and support for one another. Together we do better.

For many reasons teamwork at elementary schools can be difficult. I think this is due, to a large part, by the traditional structure and use of time in elementary schools. Often educators in elementary schools have little time or authority over their work and this can create an oppressive environment which tears at team. We have made some headway in our schools in this regard by adding time for shared planning and professional learning communities. Greater focus on teacher voice and choice as well as time will continue our efforts to move from old time "factory model" schools to modern "knowledge age" learning communities.

Specific Action: Grade-Level/School/Local Union Efforts, Work

Teaching Well
I want to continue to develop my craft to teach well. As we continue to learn more about social/emotional learning, cognition, and technology, we are called to rethink the ways we have always taught and learned. This is one good challenge for teaching well today. It's important that our school environments and efforts are brain-friendly. It's also important that our work supports the development of well informed, collaborative, critical thinkers who can creatively come together to identify and forward strong, dynamic communities of thinking and being. In this regard, it's essential that we find ways to shorten the gap between good research and knowledge and the application of that information to the work that we do to empower, engage, and educate children.

Specific Action: Math/STEAM/SEL: Research/Writing/Design/Teaching

Dynamic Learning/Teaching Communities
I think too much time is wasted in schools that continue to replicate old time "factory models" rather than modern "knowledge-age" learning communities. I want to be part of the movement that helps schools to move to greater distributive leadership and a "teams within teams" approach to teaching and learning. When educators are empowered, engaged, and well educated that tranfers to their students which is positive for the students and our future. When decisions are well made via strategic, inclusive, and transparent process, everyone in a school community benefits. There is so much potential in updating our schools to dynamic learning communities, and I want to work with my colleagues and Professional Learning Community (PLN) in this regard.

Specific Action: ESE TAC, NEA Distributive Leadership Community, MTA Professional Learning Committee

Emerging Leaders
Since I am in the final ten-year chapter of my teaching/learning career, I want to help support future leaders in my real-time and virtual midst. I want to be there to help them. I will look for ways to do this with colleagues near and far and the children I teach and parent.

Specific Action: Teamwork with many initiatives

Balance
I want to seek a good weekly routine of teaching, learning, and living. This is a constant challenge, but one I am grateful for since it's positive to have much to choose from when it comes to using time well.