The summer has finally come to an end. This has been an amazing summer of learning. I have read so many inspirational books (Teach Like A Pirate, Flip Your Classroom, Transforming Classroom Grading, and Transforming School Culture). I attended three conferences related to math education (the Rich Township professional development related to Understanding by Design, the NCTM High School Math Institute and the Common Core Summer Institute presented by SCMI where I actually presented a session on stats). I have engaged in several Twitter chats and internet chats related to education (#iledchat on Monday nights, Global Math Department on Tuesday nights, and various other chats throughout the week). I’ve done my morning walks and several workouts while listening to podcasts (my favorites right now are EduAllStars). I don’t think I have ever engaged myself in this much PD in a summer ever.
I’ve started some prep work for the school year. I have made my own play-doh so that I can start my classes “Pirate Style” in the first three days. It will work out well since there are only three days this week anyway. I am really excited to establish the relationships with my students from the start. I can’t wait to meet them.
I’m still trying to figure out logistically how I can make the flipped model work. I think to start with I might have students watch videos actually in my class. I plan to start making some tomorrow. I have also committed to really flipping my Algebra I and doing a partial flip with AP. I also am going to try to connect via Skype or Google Hangouts with the AP class at Central since they meet at the same time my class does. I think this will be REALLY FUN with our surveys and experiments unit.
My current concern is how to translate my enthusiasm right now into solid teaching this fall. I have great plans to utilize my new understandings to help promote a better learning environment for my students. I guess I am really concerned about what will happen when I interact with other teachers at my school. I hope that I can continue to enjoy this enthusiastic start and maybe impact others in a positive way. Also, although I whole heartedly believe that Standards Based Grading/Learning is really important, I also know that I need support for that initiative. My plan is to build that support this year and roll out next year.
I don’t want to stop learning. I see the need for my students to see me constantly learning so I need to ensure that the success I have found this summer will roll right into the school year. I hope that the PLN that I have begun to develop online will help me to continue to grow as an educator this year.
Finally, I don’t think that blogging everyday is feasible for me. However, I am afraid that if I don’t have a plan I will plan to fail on it. Therefore, I plan to blog (hopefully) once a week to reflect on what went well and what needs to improve for the future.
Good luck to everyone else out there who is ready to start the new year and I hope your enthusiasm is long lasting 🙂