I was reviewing a number of long-range planning documents this morning, documents related to my position as a fifth grade teacher and documents related to my family members' pursuits as well. In many ways, it is yet another point of recallibration in my life and the life of many around me. Rather than that steady plateau time in life, it's a bit of a climb right now--a point of ascent and positive growth.
What does that mean for my career path and efforts. In many ways, it's more of the same, yet to solidify that focus, it takes continued reflection, discussion, and work. Otherwise it's easy to be distracted since the world of teaching and learning is filled with possibilities that move in all kinds of directions.
For me, however, the following efforts will take precedence:
A warm welcoming and organized learning environment
Creating and maintaining an organized, warm, and welcoming teaching/learning environment demands substantial focus, effort, and advocacy. This is a main objective of work right now. Though seemingly simple, this goal is very important to positive teaching and learning.
We've reached a lot in this area over the past two years, and there's more reaching to do this summer to build on what we've done as a teaching team so far. This reach will be aided by summer reading, study, planning, data analysis, and collaboration.
Similar to science, there's been substantial effort in this arena by multiple educators, and now it's time to re-organize the documents that lead this work while also developing the work via reading and study.
Relationships and community
Continued efforts to continually develop a strong, supportive, caring learning/teaching community with students, family members, colleagues, administrators, and community members continue. The better we can work together to support one another, the more we'll be able to do and give our students. This is a critical component of good teaching and learning.
Professional learning and respectful advocacy
Continued professional learning as noted above as well as continued respectful advocacy for what is right and good for educators is essential to forwarding the good teaching/learning possible.
Passing the torch
In every way possible, it's important to support the school and system's future leaders. Our schools are filled with bright, enthusiastic, and talented early-career and mid-career professionals. As a teacher in the later part of my career, it's essential to support these kind, creative, and bright teacher leaders.
Exploring after-teaching arenas will also be part of my next three-years plan. I'll explore greater areas of writing, math expertise, family support/care, art/illustration, research, and political activity during these years as well. It will be interesting to see the kinds of posts this blog, or perhaps future blogs, will include four years from now. Onward.