The beginning of the new calendar year means a new school year in Australia – new classes, new opportunities. I have been reading great tweets and blogs where people are reflecting on the upcoming year and most writers seem to be able to list their aims and goals. I am currently struggling to define my goals as I am overwhelmed by the potential. I keep on being challenged by things I read and hear – there is one good idea after another.
I read Kathleen Morris’ goals for 2011 – I put a mental tick next to each one – all worthy and relevant. I particularly liked the goal to be involved in meaningful global collaboration. We have started connecting, now we need to make sure of the purpose and value.
I attended a few sessions at the recent Reform Symposium January 2011 and at one, Greta Sandler @gret (a teacher from Argentina) said,
“I’m not a teacher because I want to teach them curriculum.
I am a teacher because I want to make a difference in all of my kids’ life “
Wow, that certainly doesn’t make it easier! But it is so true. The curriculum is however, the vehicle through which we seek to make that difference. However, without the relationship with the students, the understanding of their needs and interests, we cannot make that difference. It is really a bit of a cyclical thing.
So what difference do I want to make? I keep wondering ….
And then Hamish Curry tweets “ I used to be concerned about what students learnt, now I’m more concerned about where they learn it.” – that hit a cord too. I try to help students navigate and understand the internet. We no longer control what they see, read, hear etc – they are exposed to so much and so much that often they are not equipped to handle. We need to show them strategies to cope with this information overload.
A KidBlog entry caught my eye “ Dustin’s New Year resolutions” . Some very worthy but fairly difficult ideas about getting along with his mother and controlling his anger. Once again, I am challenged (although no personal problems with my Mother or anger) I saw a child being resolute – aiming for high goals. Could I come up with my own resolution/goal?
Then finally, I saw a comment on Steve Wheeler’s blog
“We learn by teaching”
That summed it up – I will not bother with grand resolutions or goals, I will listen to the learners, adapt, guide, learn alongside and hopefully be able to have a list of “Things I have achieved” at the end. Wait a minute, perhaps they are goals after all?!