Sunday, August 10, 2014

Off and Running, Goals for 2014

(thenextweb.com)

What a great time of year for educators. With the anticipation of back-to-school in full swing, many of us are taking the time to sit down and chart a year of success through the annual process of goal setting. Recently Brad Currie led a conversation through #Satchat about this very topic which sparked endless suggestions, directions and possibilities. Being one of the more highly attended "chats" through Twitter, it was an amazing resource to support me in my process of gaining a focus for the 2014 school year.

Even though goals are personal and specific to what our particular environments may need at a particular moment in time, the reality is we can learn a lot from those around us. By reading, hearing and discussing others goals, each of us can find a commonality in what we may want to focus on in the coming months and year. Let's face it, we all want to better tomorrow than we are today. And, not only do we want to improve ourselves, we want others around us to excel even more so.

As I think about my goals ahead, I reflect on the past. This summer has been inspirational to say the least. I have participated in a variety of professional development experiences and have pushed myself to be more knowledgeable about my career then ever before. Whether being a part of district led activities and conversations about Blended Learning and Personalization, attending the Innovative Learning Environments Conference or reading books including: Drive by Daniel Pink, Greater Than Yourself by Steve Farber and Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. Each opportunity and experience has motivated me and energized me to the return of school in less than two weeks. These books, along with the conference, will be pivotal to my direction this year.

To top off the year, and the summer, last week was EdCampILE. This all-day event was everything an EdCamp is intended to be. It was professionally invigorating! I had been to a camp before but this camp came with an entirely different experience. I was part of the team that organized it!

It was with my colleague Jacki Prati that we organized, (with help from others, of course) invited, promoted and facilitated a day of learning for over 125 passionate educators. We followed the advice of organizers before us and gave back to others in a way that was rewarding for all. The day was powerful and validated so many of our passions and our need for professional growth.

(blog.smallbizthoughts.com)

With all of these experiences of this past year, and specifically this past summer, I now have the resources and mindset to set goals that will carry me into the year ahead. The anticipation for the first day back has never been greater. As a building administrator my goals are simple in nature but intricate in delivery. It will take effort and fortitude to see these through. There will be a sense of urgency that I welcome.

My goals are:
  • I will surround myself with educators that are motivated, inspired, passionate and dedicated to make a child's learning experience like no other.*
  • *When I come across educators that are not of this mindset, I will work with them and assist them get to that "place". To guide, nurture and instill a sense of purpose so that they can get to where each day is better then the one before.
  • I will empower my teachers and colleagues to be leaders themselves, both in the classroom and beyond their own walls. We will embrace the belief that the smartest person in the room does not, and should not, be ourselves.
  • I want my community to grow. Not by numbers necessarily but by their investment in each others learning. Parents need to be a part of the journey and our community needs to be inspired by what our students are learning each day.
  • I want to listen and therefore learn. I will lead in a way that is personal to each teacher and to each student. Creating that path of personalization is key to a child's, and a teachers, success. We will work collectively to get there.
As you prepare for this school year, make sure to set your goals in a way that not only can be successful for you and your colleagues but are equally challenging. Have conversations with your community of learners and listen to where the greatest needs are. Be inspired by what you encounter and be ready for a year like no other!