As students and teachers return to the classroom for the 2014-15 academic year, Teach Plus teachers across the nation reflect on their goals and aspirations in a series of New (School) Year Resolutions.
To turn "That's not possible" into "How can we make it so?"
Young people have an advantage over adults. They aren't encumbered by years of being indoctrinated by facts and truisms. They look at situations with fresh eyes and ask questions without the constraint of thinking something is impossible. Where an adult will say "Not possible", a child is more likely to say "Why not?" I think more scientists should invite high school students to work on their research projects. Students may ask the question that gets a scientist to look at a problem anew. Now, that's a formula for real innovation. I aspire to be more like my students and less bounded by rules and limits that may only exist in my mind. This year, I'll turn doubt into the question: "How can I?" and "How can we?"
I am determined that this year I am going to talk less. I have always relied upon my entertaining personality to engage students in my classroom, but that doesn't always allow room for the kids to shine their brightest. I have amazing students who can and will rise to the challenge if I am willing to let go of a little control and allow them to lead the way.
Mise en place my life please!
My goal for this school year is to go beyond organization into the world of supreme preparation known in the culinary world as "mise en place," or "everything in its place." My stacks of papers and haphazardly-arranged books cost me precious time. Just as I set up my students for success through thoughtful lesson planning, like a gourmet chef I hope to invest time upfront into carefully arranging my teacher tools and materials for a better workflow.