What can you start doing?
What can you stop doing?
What can you improve?
I’m going to start with the “stop doing” one. This is a tough one for teachers and one that I don’t think gets enough emphasis. The common refrain I hear is that it’s always “one more thing” whether that’s integrating technology, assessment for learning, new standards, deeper learning pedagogies, etc. What are the most crucial changes and what’s getting in the way of that getting done?
My first goal will be to limit my pinballing – my favorite term for what my colleagues call “new shiny thing.” (And, I originally wrote “stop pinballing” and then gave myself a more realistic first small step to “limit.”) For me, any topic that has to do with improving learning is fair game, but that takes me to multiple topics like inquiry-based learning, deepening what I know about assessment and the effective integration of technology. Within each of those are a multitude of topics for the curious learner, but to be effective, it’s essential that I prioritize and get crystal clear about the importance of each for achieving our vision for deeper learning. Creating my own personalized learning targets will enable me to articulate a vision and not just share random insights on a kaleidoscope of educational topics.
Where to start? What to stop? These are key questions for any learning challenge, but absolutely essential before identifying how to improve. For me, it means prioritizing and getting clarity about learning targets. Then it’s time for action and embracing the challenge.