First, I'd like to tell you about a new link up going on at Secondary Solutions. Kristen has organized the Linky page by content, so you can find a teacher who teaches the same subjects that you teach. It's a great way to share questions and solutions with people who are "living the same life" in one way or another each day. I've already found three new friends and lots of new ideas (Of course, I haven't planned my reading lessons for next week, but I hear (from the kids) that "Reading and writing make me a better reader and writer"... Blogging DOES have an important purpose!
In addition, Mor is having a New Year's Resolutions Link-Up over at A Teacher's Treasure. I just love this CUTE button--I think it made this task more do-able!
AND, Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten is having a similar Linky Party. And she has another cute Linky button. I swear I was born without a "cute" gene." It's all straight lines, boxes, and an occasional circle for me! Sorry, Gals, I'm using the same post for both. I hope this doesn't break any blogging rules.
Usually, making resolutions is quite difficult for me. Despite Alfie Kohn's suggestions, I still respond to extrinsic reinforcement. Without the rewards of candy or a sticker chart or a quick and a specific "management" system (Moving my clip has not proven effective), I find myself giving-up-and-giving-in far too easily. However, in the spirit of the moment, I am going to give it a try...
Professional:1. I could sum up almost all of my issues in one word: Organization. Yes, my tendencies for clutter and random placement of things leave me constantly searching through piles and beginning sentences with "Have you seen the..." However, I have an even greater need for MENTAL organization. Said simply, I need to plan ahead! My day runs so much more smoothly when I start the day with everything sorted, copied, organized, and prepared. On too many days, I am rushing to the office during recess to run off the papers for the math lesson that I am teaching in eleven minutes! I need to plan more than a day/week (sometimes an hour) ahead!
2. Although I usually get everything done (eventually!), I am forever playing "catch up." It is all related to the discussion above. Sometimes I forget that when I am finishing things at the last minute, I am affecting others who either have to "hurry up along with me," or be saddened by the craziness that sometimes envelopes me. So, I will treat others with more care and kindness by being responsible (Odd, I feel like I should raise my right hand and take an oath when I say that!)
3. I need to plan more consistent and more sequential lessons for guided reading. I have one group of sixth graders working on third grade sight words and one group working on a short story laced with foreign references and French vocabulary. And three groups working on different things in between. If I had more hours in a day or I needed less sleep (Oops, I'm promising below to work on that one!), I might be able to do a better job. It hurts my heart when I admit that I cannot meet all of the ever-growing needs of those entrusted to my care (So I hide the truth from myself and I keep on moving forward!)
1. I need to find that balance between school and everything-else-in-my-life. "School" only has 6 letters, and yet it takes up MOST of my life. I so LOVE my kiddos, and after almost three decades, I still love my job (although working with the kids is generally preferable to working with those... over twelve). These days, it seems that it takes more and more time, money, and energy to accomplish less and less... partly because I am older and partly because the kids have so many needs. ANYWAY, I need to find a way to take care of the other aspects of my life... in short, to take care of me. (See next resolution!)
2. I need to take better care of myself... just in general. It is not particularly wise to have a life in which you sleep less than five hours, eat Cocoa Krispies for dinner, and long for the weekends so that you can "get in some good planning time." More than once, I have looked longingly at some kid's bag of chips or my colleagues' creations during lunch and settled, instead, for my ever-accessible Diet Coke. So planning ahead comes into play here too (See resolution #1)
3. I need to work on relationships... with my friends and family, with the hubs and with God. I need to be a better listener, and to work harder to hold up "my end of the deal." I need to be less self-centered and more willing to put my wishes and my ideas aside (for even five minutes would be a good start). As trite as it sounds, I just need to better person. Out of all that I listed this is most important to me. My list of "thankful" prayers are longer than my list of "needs" prayers. I am SO blessed in so many ways....
So that's my best effort! I have GOT to work on planning for next week (GULP! It's almost here!) Be sure to click on the pictures and link back to the parties. They're waiting to hear from YOU!