Henry Ford once said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes of your goal.”
Think about specific goals you have set this year, either for yourself as a teacher or your students. How often do you revisit and evaluate those goals? What plans do you have in place when you encounter some obstacles? How often do you revise your goals?
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
As I reflect on both this quote and my own teaching practices, I am reminded of some big adjustments made to my own teaching this year. These changes, though difficult, have added rich peer to peer discourse opportunities for students and compelled me to interact more with students in a positive manner, thus allowing increased opportunities for students to be pushed and excel to new levels.
When is the last time you have truly reflected on your teaching experiences? What is one thing you can do at this mid-year point to step out of your comfort zone and enhance your day to day teaching?
Linda Conway once said, “It is not what is poured into a student that counts, but what is planted.”
Think about your class. What kinds of seeds are you planting for them? What kinds of opportunities are being provided for those seeds to blossom? What kinds of differentiated experiences are you providing to make sure that ALL students are successful?
Malcom Gladwell once said, “We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.”
Think about a typical day in your classroom. How many times are you “showing” students how to do something instead of telling them? What opportunities are you providing for them to interact with each other to explain their thinking?
Think about increasing the opportunities for peer-to-peer discourse activities in your classroom. What might that look like? Sound like?
As my holiday break came to an end, a friend commented to me about all the time off I get in the winter. While that sounded so nice to me at the time, I quickly reminded him that this is crunch time as we prepare for the Spring Testing Season.
In terms of a New Year’s resolution, I have promised myself to focus on each day at a time instead of being overwhelmed with all the little stuff. I have promised myself to note one 1-2 positive things that happen each day with my students and 1 thing I need to improve on the next day.
Think about your New Year’s Resolutions. What can you do to make your students feel more successful during this next stretch of learning?
To your enemy – forgiveness.
To your opponent – tolerance.
To a friend – your heart.
To your customer – service.
To all – charity.
To a child – a good example.
To yourself – respect.
Horace Mann once said, “A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.”
What opportunities are you providing for students to feel inspired? What are you doing to keep that sense of desire for learning alive in your students?