Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goals for 2014 - So Far . . .

I'm a reflective person by nature, and I often set goals.  Unfortunately, I'm not as good at achieving goals as I am at setting them, but still . . . it's a useful process for me.  Kind of like checking out library books.  They represent goals - at least the way that I think about them.  I have about 60 books checked out right now, many more than I could ever possibly read in the time allowed.  I might read 10 or 20, and I might use five or six in some way.  The rest I may never even open.  That doesn't mean I should check out fewer books necessarily, though my wife would probably say that it does.  That just means that I like to have options, and it doesn't have to cost me extra (in terms of money, though it costs in time and energy to tote all of them home and return them on time).

So, to the business at hand.  Goals for 2014.  I set similar goals every year - health, reading, home improvement projects, learn a language, study a specific topic, etc.  I'd like to focus on the new twists for this year, while still promising myself that I will work hard on other issues that need my attention. (My health, for example, is a serious thing, even though I might seem flippant about setting that goal.)

  1. I need to blog more often.  Once a week is a reasonable goal.  More often if necessary.  I need to let go of some of the pressure.  It's nice to work hard on crafting a quality post, but it's not nice to write nothing because of the lack of time to commit to the project.  So, I need to lower my standards a little.  
  2. Publish something creative, even if it's just as an e-book on Amazon.  That's been a life goal, and I have a bunch of stuff that is almost publishable.  I'm not sitting on the great American novel, but it would be better to publish something than to continue to postpone and revise. 
  3. Network and connect with other teachers more.  I'm a strong participant in Twitter chats, and I've benefited enormously from the chance to learn from other teachers around the world.  It's an enormous blessing and a great opportunity to be as connected as I am.  I want more.  There is a growing opportunity to connect with teachers and educators on Google Plus, and I want to be part of that.  I should also be looking for "old-fashioned" opportunities - conferences, workshops, and especially EdCamps.  That was a wonderful thing.  I'd like to attend at least two, and maybe help organize another one.  
  4. Open my classroom to the world more.  Share more.  Publish more of the work that we do - my instructional strategies and materials, and my students' work.  There are good things going on.  I don't need to take credit for everything.  Actually, it would be beneficial for me and my students if I found more ways to share the credit.  The newsletter that I have shared is a great first step, but even that could be more open.  So, share!
  5. Seek out more leadership opportunities.  I'm in a position to help others with connecting, with technology, with literacy, and with writing instruction.  I would love to be useful to more people in more ways.  I think that I'm in a good place to start to reach out to leadership chances.  In my district and out.  
  6. Work harder on my personal and professional growth.  I have amassed an impressive professional library, but I haven't read and applied it all.  Not even close.  That should be the focus, instead of making it larger.  I also want to learn more about programming, web design, and ways to use technology that go beyond traditional strategies (further down the SAMR model).  That's something that will pay enormous dividends in the future, but that is also a lot of fun.  So, why not?
I think that's a good list to start with.  
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