Thursday, September 1, 2011

Goal Setting Revisited

In April I was encouraged to consider setting goals. It was a first for me personally and professionally, and it took a lot to make the list found in the post below. I was worried that by setting goals, I may just be setting myself up for failure. And truthfully, who wants to do that?

Today was Pro-D at Sullivan Height; my first as a permanent member of the staff. It was run internally with teachers teaching teachers. Over a dozen staff members got up and shared their varied successes, allowing others to sample the vast array of ideas, technologies and communication tools available to the education world (and increasing at an exponential rate according to a math lesson from @bobneuf). The focus was on 21st century learners. There was a good deal on twitter, as well as the sharing of a variety of web 2.0 tools. And then there was a brief conversation about goals.

If you weren't paying attention you may have missed this part. It wasn't a lecture. It wasn't up on the screen with step by step instructions. There wasn't a long drawn out conversation. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that it quietly snuck up on us. First I didn't think must about it. As the day progressed I started to realize how significant it really was.

We were asked to fill out a sheet and set a goal. "A" goal. I mean, how difficult can that be? But as I started to go through the sheet I realized it was nothing like my experience this past April. To make things quick and painless I pulled up my blog with the intention of just pulling one from my already existing list. But this assignment wasn't just a list. I was asked about not just what my goal is, but what others could do to support it. What would success look like? How would I measure my progress? Why would i choose this particular goal? This lead to a few hours of staring at the questions broken up by moments of exploring a variety of web tools, designing a website and thinking about assessment practices.

And then it came to me. This. This blog. This dialogue and conversation. Looking at my previous list, I realized there is so much I want to do. Some of it is practical like helping out with a club. Some of it I've already done, like getting into a Masters program (start next week) and getting a permanent job (Sullivan Heights!!!). But MOST of it (maybe all of it?), I mean the REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF (and isn't it all), needs to be done in conversation. I don't have the right answers. Or the wrong answers. Or, as I am convinced some days, any answers. But I sure have a lot of questions and ideas and theories. I am ready to try new things. And succeed. And fail. And I am grateful to be in a school, community and PLN that supports and encourages all of the above.

So here it is! My goal for the 2011/2012 school year:

  • I'd like to blog, at least once a week. I am doing it because I have questions and ideas that I would like to share, and more importantly, I would like to hear from others. I know that growth often requires the willingness to make yourself vulnerable, so I am taking the leap here and now. I would measure success both by being consistent in my effort, and by the willingness of others to engage in the conversation (comments and questions). My colleagues (near and far) can support me in taking the time to read, and respond. And I hope that this blog isn't the professional development itself, but the catalyst for so much more to come.

So here I am: week one. check. Thanks to Jennifer Spain (@jennifer_spain) and Nicole Painchaud (@painchaud_n) for the idea and encouragement. Kudos to you both.


  1. I think this is fantastic! So happy that you decided to do this, to record your thoughts, your strategies, your inspiration and learning. Thanks for showing me that I can make a small difference in the world of teaching. You've inspired me in return. I've been blogging myself and I'm going to enjoy following yours. If you don't mind I'll hook you up to the Sullivan Heights Central Blog. Our school is going to rock with learning and sharing this year!!!!

  2. I think it's great that your staff professional development got you to explore and set a goal for yourself. I think your goal is very achievable. There is something about rereading what you wrote down for the entire world to read. I've only had my "educational" blog up and running for a little over a month and already I see changes in action. Happy blogging. Karen

  3. I saw a link to this post on Twitter last night and just had time to read it now - thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! This post is inspirational to me too, and I'm going to commit to following your blog and thinking about the ideas and questions you put out there. I'm looking forward to working with you again! (And I'm adding you to my Google Reader)

  4. Wow! Thanks so much everyone. I feel so blessed to be in a community of educators (both F2F and online) that provide support and encourage continued growth in our profession. I'm looking forward to a year of continued dialogue!