Sunday, December 27, 2015

Making a Difference in 2016

Is it really already 2016?  2015 has come and gone and it seems like it went by so quickly.  I like to start the new year by setting new goals for my classroom and this year is no different.  So here we educational priorities for 2016 are (drum roll please) boldness, passion, and conversation.

Boldness - I want this for myself as well as my students.  I want all of us to be bold enough to use our voices. As an educator, I want to speak up for what I know is best for my students.  I also want my students to speak up for themselves.  I want them to know that their voices are powerful, that they can make a difference.  More than anything, I want them to follow the paths that will lead to the lives that they've always imagined.  I don't want them to allow others to choose their paths for them. Instead, I hope to inspire them to realize that they have the opportunity to do amazing things by being bold and leading the way for the change.

Passion - As most of you know, I am a huge fan of passion projects, Genius Hour, and other activities in the classroom that give students opportunities to pursue their interests.  I believe that passion is the key to unlocking many problems in education today.  When students are interested, they are engaged. One size fits all classrooms will not work anymore.  It's time to realize that these students are different and they have different skill sets.  Because of this, we as teachers must play a different role and be okay with that.  Allowing our students to pursue their passions gives them the opportunity to learn by doing.   I've seen the impact of this type of learning in my own classroom and it changes everything.  Passion makes learning real and meaningful.  And, honestly, if it's not, why are we teaching it anyway?

Conversation - I want to start conversations in 2016 that matter.  I want to be a part of the conversations that are changing education.  I believe that conversation trumps everything.  In my classroom, conversation comes before grades, worksheets, and assignments.  I understand that through conversation, I will really know my students.  I will understand what works for them and what doesn't.  In having conversations with my colleagues, I am able to inspire and be inspired.  I want my students to understand that they can start conversations that ignite change.  Understanding the power of conversation is so important in education today and will definitely be a priority for us in 2016.

So that's it!  Boldness, passion, and conversation are my priorities this year.  I want to be bold enough to do what is best and passionate enough to start conversations that will make a difference.  These are the same things that I wish for my students.  I can't wait to see what this year holds.  I wish all of you a wonderful New Year and hope that you find ways to make it amazing! Let's rock 2016 and make it a year that we will remember for a long time!