Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm going to FAIL this year!

The cliche goal setting post is upon me. You know the one, where we all become optimistic, SMART goal setting educators. Come June we look back and realize that we probably dropped the ball some time in October and then reset our goals around New Years' and dropped the ball again around February break and then said eh, there's always next year. Since I'm a whopping 7 days until school begins, let's take a look at my goals from last year as I remember them now and see how I did.

1. Flip my Civics course and have it ready (all lesson/all units) to go by day 1.

  • Well, I flipped. Flipped out is more like it. There were times I felt I couldn't get it done, but I did. While I'm not sure you'd call what I do truly flipping (well, I suppose there is no "definition), I love how I'm teaching the course, I love the changes I'm making, and I love the feedback I get from the students.
  • For this year I'd like to continue on this path, continue listening to the students, and add in more personal reflection (see #4 below). I think where I'm moving too is a place of problem and project based learning with writing infused into the course. I like it. 
2. Take 4 graduate courses (2 in the fall and 2 in the spring).

  • Why do I always do this to myself? I took 2 in the fall. Stopped going to the second (I had already taken the course topic twice before) class after the midterm. Spring I only took one.
  • This year I'm again attempting 4, but with a better plan. Since I'm doing my practicum in the fall, I'm only "teaching" 3 classes (instead of 6) and then Guidance 9 on Tuesdays and Thursdays so fall won't be trying, but there's always the spring!
3. Replan as I go my Honors World History course to include more discussion, more groups, more projects, and try a flipped lesson/unit in the spring.

  • Ummm what was I thinking? With teaching 6 classes, taking 4 graduate courses, and already replanning a course, what made me think I could replan a second course? Seriously, optimism in the summer is more like delusion!
4. Continue blogging throughout the year.

  • See #3 above! Although I wish I had kept blogging. I think it would have helped to flesh out ideas I had and implement new ones. But most of all just served as a sounding board for myself, even if I never actually posted it!
5. Stay engaged with like minded individuals online.

  • Like #4 above, it would have helped with the "self-care" aspect I always forget about!

I'm sure there were more, but this is what I can think of and BOY DID I FAIL! My umbrella goal for this year is simple I want to FAIL. Yes I am setting out to intentionally FAIL. I know sounds negative and quite the opposite of what I should be doing, but hear me out!

Step 1 in FAIL is FOCUSING. 
  • I need to focus on what is important. I need to take time and assess what needs to be done now, what can wait to be done, and what can just plain never be done!
  • I need to learn to appreciate what I have. That means my support systems around me, my family, my colleagues, my friends, my students, and my PLN!
  • I can no longer afford to say yes to everything that everyone asks me to do. I must learn to cull my interests to those that truly excite me and that I have a passion for. Rather than wanting to be helpful to everyone in every situation, I can be most useful to people when my skill set and interests match up.
Step 4 in FAIL is LAUGHTER
  • Laughter is the best medicine of all. I want to laugh more, I want to laugher harder, and I want to laugh wholeheartedly this year. I want to enjoy life, after all you're only 29.1 once right!

So who else wants to FAIL with me this year?