5. Patience is a Virtue
They stream into our classes – 30 (or more!) at a time. They are needy and insistent. They are hungry, both figuratively and literally. I cannot afford to be tired and cranky. I cannot afford to allow the demands of the job to overwhelm me. A patient, caring attitude is requirement number one in order to connect with students and to have a successful school year. I resolve to be more patient in the year ahead.
4. Making the Grade
One of the reasons a teacher often goes home and feels like a poor professional is the fact that the grading is never done – and with coaching or family obligations (or both!) after school, rarely accomplished on as tight a timeframe as we would like. The holy grail of the 24-hour turnaround on student work seems as if it is a task for Atlas or Hercules, not your average civil servant. Students must have timely, thoughtful feedback, however. No matter how time consuming or difficult, I must resolve to process my grading in a more expedient fashion in the future.
3. Tech Savvy
“21st century skills” are absolutely essential for today’s students to master – but how can we integrate them into our classes? A September, 2010 article in Educational Leadership by Stacy Kitsis noted the positive benefits of utilizing a class blog “as a virtual meeting space for small groups.” To that end I will attempt to create and integrate a class “Ning” in order to engage in class discussions and to encourage learning beyond the paltry 50 minutes that we enjoy together each day!
2. Live the Example
Students can sense a phony from miles away. There can’t be a single iota of doubt in the mind of a student as to their teacher’s conduct as a professional. Teachers who make the leap from good to great understand that teaching is much more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. In the New Year, I resolve to set a positive example for my students by working for them twice as hard as I work for myself.
1. Serve all Students
We hear the terms and phrases all the time. No Child Left Behind. Differentiated instruction. Adapting to different learning modalities. But all the edu-speak in the world is merely babbling jargon if it is not infused with meaning and purpose on a daily basis. I will take the true spirit of education to heart in the coming year – I will seek to educate each individual child on his or her own terms. I will meet each of my students where they are and seek to move them to a higher place by the end of the school year.
Stacy Kitsis, “The Virtual Circle” Educational Leadership