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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A World of Limitless Potential: Roadmap

What roadmap do you use to navigate this world of limitless potential?

It's amazing what's possible today given our ready access to information and individuals across the globe.

Essentially the Internet is your questions answered.

The greatest question I have in light of all of this is a continual inquiry about what's important.

I love to solve problems, and find so much satisfaction when I read about the work of courageous, intelligent problem solvers who use good process and strategy to better lives and communities.

I become quite discouraged when process is obstructed by lack of truth, inadequate communication, lack of good process, minimal to no share, and more.

So as I keep this in mind, I once again coach myself forward toward good prioritization and effort. What's at the forefront now?

Math Education
For about six hours a day, I work on efforts related to math education. Over the summer, I'll organize, analyze, and develop this work for the year ahead.

Integrating SEL and Academic Learning Standards
For about four months I've been working with a team to write a book on this topic. We getting near the final efforts in this regard, so I imagine this will take a bit of back seat until the book proofs come back.

State Work
I serve on the Massachusetts' Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Teachers Advisory Cabinet (TAC) and the Massachusetts Teacher Union's Teaching and Professional Learning Committee. I am humbled by the talent and expertise represented on both of these committees, and probably learn as much or more than I contribute. I am happy to bring back information from this work to my colleagues where I teach.

Local Union
I serve as a representative and secretary of our local union. My effort in this regard to is support our contract in ways that help educators have the working conditions, salary, and support they need to do good work for children and their families. One focus I hold dear in this regard is helping to communicate the important work the local union board and teachers are doing to provide greater opportunity and community.

Cultural Proficiency
My grade-level team and I are working to develop our program in ways that make it more culturally proficient. In this regard, I have a number of activities to complete in the near future which include reading a biography or autobiography of Frederick Douglas, creating a Frederick Douglas scavenger hunt at Boston's Museum of African American history, visiting the museum with students, and using what we learned as a model for the upcoming fifth grade Global Changemakers Biography project.

This summer I'll draft a grant with colleagues to obtain greater culturally proficient signage for our school, and look to identify events that will support our continued culturally proficient program development goals in the year ahead. I would like to look more closely at Primary Source's resources with this in mind.

Once we pass the MCAS test weeks and fifth grade play, we'll focus heavily on a number of STEAM study projects. Most of our projects tie nicely with conservation and environmental study. I'll spend much of May and June reviewing, revising, and promoting this study. Looking ahead, I'd like to write a grant to support a better STEAM lab as part of our fifth grade study wing. I'd also like to look into professional training related to our visit to the McAuliffe Challenger Center and a potential visit to Natick Labs which has a terrific STEAM-related learning opportunity for students.

Rather than attend lots of professional study events this summer, I want to focus on the many books that await completion or reading that are piled all over my house. This reading will develop what I can do with and for students well.

Family and Personal Matters
This summer will also find me focused on a number of family matters that I've left behind in the past few years as I focused heavily on teaching/learning work.

The potential to do well and develop is astounding today, but we can't attain any growth or positive change without continually re-looking at and re-thinking our priorities. Onward.