Sunday, June 10, 2018

Active Contribution

I love to share my ideas via email and blogging, but what is my active people-to-people contribution like? Does that active contribution live up to my standards, and how might I finesse that effort to do more and better?

Like most teachers, most of my time in schools each day is active contribution with 20plus students and multiple colleagues, family members, administrators and more. It's an incredibly busy day every school day. And there are limitless opportunities to do more better. There is never a moment when I feel like I've done all that I can do, instead at every moment I see opportunity to do more and finding the right balance is a constant challenge.

Yet as I assess my efforts today, I want to caution myself about letting words overpower action--I want to strike that good balance of words and action so that I am an active, present contributor when it comes to teaching students well. So what will my contribution look like in the year ahead--what's doable and reasonable?

Daily Teaching and Collegial Collaboration
I will continue the routine of daily teaching and putting most of my energy at school into the efforts to teach the fifth grade students well. That's the mainstay of my work that involves the time-on-task with students and the related prep, planning, study, analysis, and meetings. A focus of this work will be to better our efforts as a broad, integrated team of practitioners to teach each child well. That's a full time job as most educators know.

Homework Club
I'd like to put my extra time into forwarding a homework club before school one or two days a week. I'm thinking that this club will likely occur on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from either 8-8:30 or 7:30-8:30. I had a similar club this year and it resulted in some really great teaching and learning with children who chose to be there. I'd like to make a commitment to specific days and times. I'd also like to offer one afternoon a week to help out my students who live in Boston since they have a late bus on that day and I can help out. Since my own children will all be away at college or jobs, I have a bit more time in my schedule to do this. At the Middle School level they actually offer a stipend for this position, and perhaps they would be willing to do this at the elementary level too. I'll research that.

Local Union
I hope to continue my efforts as the local union secretary, member, and board member.

MTA Advocacy
I hope to better my advocacy skills this summer and help the MTA work towards legislature that uplifts the lives of citizens in Massachusetts in ways that matter. I'll attend a training on this over the summer.

Reading, Writing, and Research
I'll continue my daily reading, writing, and research to forward what I can do on my own and with others to teach well.

This will be the focus of my work in 2018-2019.