One of the things that our directors asked us to do was to draw up a personal contract for ourselves to sign and turn in. Since my blog has always been a place to flesh out ideas and brainstorm things, I figured I’d do it here.
This year, I am rededicating myself to classroom education. I will not be satisfied with satisfactory, and will constantly be striving to improve the educational opportunities that I offer to my students.
I will arrive at school early to ensure that I am overly prepared for the day’s lessons. In the past I have had co-teachers and free periods, providing more than adequate time for preparation during the school day. That will not be the case this year, but the need for preparation is greater than ever.
Most days, I will be leaving school soon after the students have left. As dedicated as I am to education, it is still a job that I have in order to pay bills and support my personal life. I work hard so that my wife and I can enjoy our time together.
I will continue to reflect upon my own experiences, both privately and publicly. The blog and podcast are public manifestations of my own reflective process and through them I will continue to explore ways to improve the educational system of my own school as well as schools in general.
I will make deliberate efforts to collaborate with my grade level team and to share responsibilities with them. I often have the attitude that if you want something done right, you do it yourself. However, that generally means that you take on an extraordinary amount of extra work, sometimes unnecessarily. The other grade level teachers are incredibly motivated and have some fantastic ideas. By working as a team, we will be able to lessen everybody’s load.
I will conduct my classroom this year with a sense of urgency. These students need to do more than average, grade level work. In order to overcome the hurdles life has put in their way, they need to excel. Their own educational journeys will begin in my classroom, and I will make sure they have the tools they will need to be successful. I will not just be teaching kindergarten, I will be preparing them for 1st grade, middle school, high school and ultimately college.
I will continue my own educational journey this year as well. Through online research, workshops, conferences, and other professional development opportunities, I will continue to seek out new experiences in education. I do not believe that I already know enough to do the best possible job that I can. There is always something more that I can learn to improve my own teaching abilities.
Living to learn, learning to live.