Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Coaching Myself From the Quagmire

Still smarting from the quagmire I found myself in last week, I am thinking deeply about my professional path in the days ahead.

As I continue to navigate multiple leaders, initiatives, and student/family needs and interests, I am considering what is most important with regard to good teaching and learning. I am coaching myself forward in this regard. I find that to get the energy I need to dig deep and move forward with strength and ability, I need this daily reflection and coaching.

What's on the agenda?

First and foremost is the need to support each and every student well. Right now my efforts in this direction include the following:
  • working with students to make sure they practice and master learning standards with meaning, enthusiasm, confidence, and skill
  • teaching students effective learning and practice strategies, advocacy, and resource use
  • helping students navigate the many conflicts that arise as they learn to work and play happily with each other
  • creating a cozy, welcoming, and supportive learning environment
  • planning and preparing effective, engaging learning experiences to teach the standards and more
  • teaching and modeling effective problem solving, decision making, and collaboration
The next priority is to support family members as they coach and mentor their children forward. To do this well requires the following efforts:
  • regular communication and response to parent questions and needs
  • thoughtful, student-centered parent-teacher-student conferences
  • access to needed materials, support, and information that may help families to support their children's successful learning and happiness at school
Further it's important to be a collaborative member of the learning/teaching team as we work together to plan for meaningful, engaging learning events, schedule lessons and services, and problem solve around student learning and their social/emotional needs.

With regard to long-term professional growth and effort, I will look to colleagues near and far to learn more about the work I do to teach well. My current learning direction includes these events:
  • Reading Timeless Learning
  • Attending and presenting at this Saturday's ATMIM Conference
  • Working with colleagues to meet the goals of the environmental education grant we are forwarding with Mass Audubon's Drumlin Farm naturalists and educators.
  • Organizing and refining physical science efforts
  • Revisiting a number of tech platforms to see how those platforms have been updated and improved to support teaching and learning, then embedding useful components of those platforms into student learning.
  • Updating websites and teaching/learning materials on resource websites to aid teaching and learning efforts for all on the learning team.
Listen to system initiatives and get involved in areas that I believe may hold promise for the future of student learning and teaching. 

I continue to repeat again and again my direction since it takes this kind of cheerleading to move into areas of growth and development--areas that aren't that glamorous or interesting to many I work with, but areas, nonetheless, that spell greater success and positive learning for my students. Onward.