I think the name Goal Post for each of these posts is especially clever. We just reached the end of our second six week period of the year and are doing another set of orientations. It seems like this year is just whizzing by. I think the six week periods, though, have turned into five week periods…which may or may not be good. It probably doesn’t really matter. So this is my third reflection of the year for my professional goal of becoming increasingly reflective and identifying changes to make as a result of that reflection.
First of all, to summarize how my goals are progressing, reflecting on a regular basis has really been beneficial so far this year. I have made three changes as a result of my reflection, which have not only helped several of my students, but have also helped me with motivation and attitude. Besides becoming more regular in my daily reflection and simply teaching the welding program the way I teach (changes #1 and #2), I have implemented one new idea to my teaching practice. The first of these is that I created an Edready course to supplement or deliver the 191B Math for Welding course. It meets all of the objectives from said course, and provides another avenue for students to practice and master those objectives in a different manner. Not only will it help future welding students prepare for the course but it will also help current, struggling students review and practice those objectives in a new way.
I really like the fact that our current superintendent, Ms. Lacey, uses twitter to share good ideas. I began using it several years ago too, to both get good ideas and to share some as well. Yesterday, I found a twitter link in her weekly message to an article about practicing gratitude. After reading the article, and in my reflection yesterday, I decided to try the experiment she suggested. This will be the fourth idea I will implement in my teaching practice as a result of reflection. The article, by Nataly Kogan, suggests three ways to begin practicing gratitude in your daily life. It also discusses how doing so makes people better employees and provides research to back it. The first thing she suggests is to begin thinking of three things each day that you are grateful for and writing them down on paper. The second is to make a point to thank someone each day for something. And finally, she recommended to pick a thing to savor each day. I really liked her final suggestion. There were three steps to savoring something. The first is to spend a few minutes in anticipation. The second was to really be present while savoring, which means no answering emails or texting during your savoring time. And the final step was to spend a minute or two afterwards reflecting about the experience you just had with what ever it was that you savored. I do not know if I am stretching things a bit here by using this as a part of my professional goals (Tammy could probably tell me if she ever comments on my blog), but the research she provided really promoted utilizing gratitude as a way to improve how well you work and handle stress in the work place.
I am very grateful for my job today. It was first on my daily list…or maybe it was second. I am having an excellent year…again, Julie K. has really added a ton of good things to our program…and having T. H. at the helm, makes our program a fantastic place to work. Anyhow, I love my job and feel lucky to be a teacher most days. Today, my job is what I savored.
Oh yeah, and Tammy H., not the superintendent tammy, has yet to comment on any of my posts. She is a busy lady.