I love goal setting. I expect my students to make growth, so it's natural I expect the same from myself.
Here are some of my goals for the upcoming school year:
1) Look more like a teacher. While this may seem vain, I want to put a little more effort into my appearance to look older. Yes, older. I was recently at a high school for math training and got hit on by a student council boy...because apparently I look like them. I've also had cashiers ask what grade I'm starting or if I'm excited to go to UNLV...several times. Yes, I know I'll appreciate good genes when I'm older but for now, I'd like to look more like the teacher and less like a student volunteer.
At my last school, we had standard student attire (uniforms), so looking different wasn't a huge challenge. This year, my new school is open dress (but still adhering to the district's dress code). I've got to put in more of an effort to visually separate myself from them.
For me, this means jeans will be rarely worn. I'm trying to wear more dresses and cardigans to look teacher-y.
I dressed up for my trainings last week and had several people compliment me, so my goal must be working.
2) Do better with this work-life balance. I'll either go in early or stay late, but not both. I stayed later than I intended to yesterday, but that was because one of my kiddos was in the office in tears because his grandfather was 40 minutes late picking him up. It's the first day of school, it happens. I didn't want to leave the munchkin on the first day and it was a good opportunity to bond with him.
Now that I have a ten minute commute, which is glorious, I can spend more time at home with B and my fur babies.
3) Bring back the joy into my classroom. Last year, for a thousand different reasons, was the worst year of my teaching career. I wanted to quit on a weekly basis. I cried on average once a day. Things started going down hill the first week (yes, week) of school and I knew with complete certainty I would not be at that site anymore by mid-September. It was an unpleasant place to be for both teachers and students.
That's not how I want my classroom to be this year. I want it to be a joyous place full of inquiry and collaboration. Based on how day 1 went, I'd way we're off to a good start!
4) Let the horrors of last year go. It was a dark year that I never want to repeat. I am doing my best to stop comparing last year to this new school, but the differences are startling. This new school is a breath of fresh air. I'm going to focus on the positive vibes of my new school instead of complaining about the woes of last year.
I have a few friends still at the old school and they say it's better this year. For their sake, I hope so! I wish them the best and nothing but good luck. Hopefully all (or at least most) of the factors are gone, allowing them to have a fresh, positive slate as well. Everyone deserves to be happy at work.
5) Be open to new things. I'm the new one on my grade level. I'm the one, with five years of teaching under my belt, that is the newest teacher. I like what I've done in my classroom because I've seen the results, but I also need to keep that in check. I have so much to learn from these four other awesome women. I need to remind myself to be open to their ideas as well, rather than just focusing on my own. Some days this will be hard for me, but I'm excited to learn new strategies from them.
What are your goals for the 2014-2015 school year?