Summer Goals Round-Up

This summer I let my introverted side have free reign, and even my professional development was done mostly in isolation.  While I wouldn’t embrace this approach long-term, it was a good choice for me coming off a year in which I really struggled with issues of collaboration at work.  Time and distance have helped me to see that I was too pushy (the evil side of my enthusiasm). 
What follows is mostly for me to hold myself accountable for what I set out to do professionally over the summer.  As I look ahead, I am committed to spending more time listening and inviting contribution from my colleagues.  Hand-in-hand with this approach is my new philosophy for the year–potluck, not buffet (thanks Jeff for the head check). 
Goal 1: Rededicate to the blog–done, with 16 posts since school got out for summer. Now I just have to keep up the momentum and continue by writing reflections on how the other work I’ve done over summer has changed my teaching.
Goals 2 and 3: I completed three PD-ish books, Choice Words by Peter Johnston, Notebook Know-How by Aimee Buckner, and Cracking Open Author’s Craft by Lester Laminack. Additionally, I read The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades by Joan Moser and Gail Boushey as well as the Don and Jenny Killgallon text on sentence composing. Literacy, literacy, literacy…when does this learning curve level off a little for me? Not yet.

Goal 4: Getting some new kidlit read turned out to be my most enjoyable goal, and I exceeded my minimum of 10 titles handily. The last year or two, I’d kind of gotten away from staying kidlit sharp, and I was feeling it this year as I occasionally struggled with helping match students to the books that would move them along as readers. Now I feel like I’m back in the game and ready!

Goal 5: Completing a Reading/Writing Matrix is something I made progress on, but really have come to view as a dead end unless I can lure colleagues in my district into contributing. Still, it was a useful lesson in what not to do to catalyze collaboration. I’ll write more on this later.

Goal 6: The social studies wiki is bumping along nicely, but I now see it as a project over this entire year, not just the summer. I’m still playing with the purposes of different parts of the wiki and hope to get some input from colleagues in my district later this month.

Vacation, for all intents and purposes, is over.  I’m unwrapping my classroom, moving into a round of PD opportunities through the Red Cedar Writing Project and my school district, and hoping for the best as my district works to replace my 5th grade teaching partner (congrats to Tricia on the engagement and the move to Indiana).



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