I have to continually coach myself forward with good goals. This good work is not instinctual because it takes concerted effort to push ahead to better teaching and learning for myself and my students.
Again and again as I try new learning/teaching endeavor, I see ways to better what I can do to teach well.
Yesterday I taught a planting lesson to three classes, each time I hit some of the goals, but at no time did I hit all of the goals. The plant packet still requires greater finesse, organization, and thought. Yet, it was better than last year.
All of our learning events have limitless potential for betterment--with teaching, like living, we're never there as there is always more to learn and ways to improve what we do.
Yet students overall engagement, questioning, and commentary demonstrated to me that yesterday's lesson is worth bettering--student engagement spurs that goal setting and the learning evolution we're involved in as educators seeking to promote the best possible holistic learning/teaching program for our students.
As I think about that and today's exploration in nature, I'm thinking about the big goals that will lead me ahead with the collaboration of so many invested and talented colleagues, students, and family members:
Hands-on, standards-based science learning that's integrated with other disciplines
In the best of situations this learning goes full circle beginning with meaningful questions and moving through hypothesis, exploration, making/creating, testing, reflecting/analyzing, re-making/creating, testing again, and determining next steps. My colleague noted yesterday that we continually model this process as we move the teaching/learning program ahead each day, week, and month of the year.
Meaningful, hands-on, problem-based math learning and teaching
Using multiple efforts including hands-on exploration, performance assessments, games, math talk, writing, and interdisciplinary efforts to lead students to mastery with the grade-level standards and more.
Confident, collaborative, kind learning community
Promoting an effective learning community that builds students' individual and collective confidence, collaboration, and kindness towards one another--a community that's able to creatively, compassionately, and critically solve problems and learn on their own and together.
These are the main goals leading me forward in the days ahead. It's good to have a positive shortlist like this to focus on.