Thursday, May 13, 2010

Next Year...

As the year comes to a close, I think many teachers are in a state of exhaustion and reflection at the same time.  I know I am. There are many thoughts in my head about what I will do differently next year.  I've started a Google Doc that is a list of what I want to make sure I change, do for the first time, or don't do at all next year.  I'm doing this so that I don't forget over the summer what I'm feeling in these last days.

A few things on  my list are:
  • Use a Google form to collect kids' and parents' information.
  • Discuss what I expect from students when they return from being absent.
  • Make a video of a good literature circle and show students how it should work.
  • Discuss that I don't give extra credit.

What will you change, add, or drop next year?  I encourage you to make a list.  I feel like mine is growing every day!


  1. A theme I am gathering from your list/post is "modeling." You want to model behaviors and expectations for your students.

    You, Mrs. Goerend, are a model for us all!

    My list isn't as well thought out yet due to my changing role, but I can learn from you that goal-setting (specifically modeling) is a worthwhile activity.!

  2. Thanks, brother! I think it's beneficial to reflect now, but more important to look at the reflections later. It's kind of like writing a letter to your future self!

  3. It's a little different for me because I'm returning to the classroom next year (one section of Algebra while continuing my current position), but I have 68 things in my Google Doc (so far . . .)

    A big one for me is transparency. And communication. I need to share my own thinking with my students, not just about Algebra, but about learning, high school, and life. In my previous incarnation as a math teacher, I prided myself on not getting "sidetracked" by the students about things unrelated to math. While I still intend to focus intensely on the math, I think some of the most important things that happen in my classroom might be those "sidetracks."

    As far as writing a letter to your future self, I've put a reminder on my calendar to check the Google Doc in September, November, and February.

  4. I agree, Karl, sidetracks are important. Students need advice, solicited or unsolicited. We are educators and not just math or social studies or science educators!

    You have a great idea about putting reminders on your calendar! I will do that, too!

  5. I used the Google form to collect info and it was really helpful. So much so that I actually could retrieve phone #'s from my iphone so I had access to them from anywhere (came in real handy once). The form I used is on my classroom site.

    I also found that with Standards Based Grading, I didn't have to mess with Extra Credit either, which was great!

  6. @Clifford Thanks for sharing your Google form!

    Amen, SBG makes grading so much easier. Kids also aren't begging for "points."