The theme for this week is goals, and with it being back-to-school time, that seems quite prudent. I'm going to share my goals for the next year in three ways: goals for my classroom, goals for myself professionally, and goals for myself personally.
My #1TMCThing for my classroom is to use Desmos Activity Builder in a way that is more tailored to my students' experiences. I'm certainly going to play more with the teacher pacing and pause features, but I'd also like to be able to use AB specifically for my students by creating my own. My other goal sounds secondary, but is probably one of the most important things anyone could ever try to do. I want to use the incentive from TMC to remind my students (and myself!) that they are "whatever" enough. Positivity, encouragement, celebrating successes -- whatever it takes to transform a student's perception of herself as not enough.
Professionally, I am really looking forward to engaging more with the MTBOS. I am committing to this Sunday Funday blogging challenges as a way to be more reflective about my own teaching. It is so difficult for me to make the time to do quality reflection (it seems that I'm constantly assessing ideas, strategies, and materials), this challenge may serve as the catalyst for consistent time-making. Hopefully at some point this year, I'll be ready to share my own created materials via this platform as well. Part of that stress goes back to my own trouble with being "whatever" enough. I am teaching calculus this year, a course that is new to me. I'm excited to teach a higher level content class but also eager to see how my instructional methods from Algebra transfer to an upper level course.
On a personal level, one of my goals is to give myself time this year. I'm teaching an extra class which brings with it an extra prep, and that's already causing me some stress. I'm not 100% ready to commit, but I think this may be the year that I train for a marathon. Time is going to be at a premium (it already is - and school doesn't start for two weeks!), but I think running may be a good stress buster for me. I'm also planning to go back to Connecticut next summer and may be asked to take on more of a leadership role where it would be beneficial if I was conversationally fluent in Spanish. I don't know if that's really possible in a year, but I'm committing to regular practice online and once I feel comfortable, trying to hang out with some of my bilingual friends while they are speaking only Spanish. (I'd also like to get my pilot's license, but that seems like a stretch.) I have big goals this year, but I've recently realized that life is only worth living if you take risks. Failure is part of the process, and that's a value I'd like to be able to share with my students.