As I look down the teaching/learning path, I'm thinking about what matters for the long road.
To teach successfully at this point in my career, the following efforts matter most:
Keeping a future-focused to-do list helps me to stay ahead of the curriculum program with good preparation. Our team uses a list like this and I use an individual list like this. These future-focused lists allow us to work on the efforts that we're in the mood for and that we have the time for with the luxury of little pressure--in general, this allows us to take advantage of all kinds of extra support since we are not rushed for time. I will continue to use this approach.
It's important to be well rested and to have good energy each and every day--you can't teach well when you are tired.
Lots of conflict happens at schools as everyone works to do their best with countless limitations related to time, funding, space, and more. It's best to meet those conflicts head on in good time before the conflict gets bigger and more troublesome. Typically conflicts that gain attention early on are easily solved.
Focus First on the Love, Care, and Attention for Each and Every Child
This is always the first focus--is every child happy, supported, and heard? This is critical with regard to teaching/learning success. This attention to students includes meaningful regular response and positive coaching so that students have what they need to succeed.
Keep Learning and Continue to Develop Programs
Maintain daily attention to learning and developing the teaching/learning program. Also invest considerable deeper time throughout the year to intense learning efforts via reading, courses, conferences, and collaborative project/problem based efforts.
The best success comes from what we can do together as teaching/learning teams in and outside of school. Contribution to these teams in ways that matter is essential to teaching/learning success.
Seeing each day as an opportunity to be your best and do your best as an educator.
Advocacy and Innovation
Doing my best to advocate for and innovate towards the best possible supports for a top-notch education for each and every child. This advocacy matters as we don't currently have the supports on a state- or national level that enable every educator to do what he/she can to teach every child well. Until we have this kind of support, we cannot ignore the need to advocate and innovate.
The long road for me at this time is a time to dig into the day-to-day efforts that help me to be the best educator that I can be. This requires daily attention, focus, and a personal infrastructure that supports this good work. That infrastructure includes a simple home, time to rest and recreate, daily learning, collaboration, supportive friends and family, and a deep, thoughtful focus on each and every child within my responsibility. Onward.