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3 Goals for a New Year

January 2, 2009

I am setting 3 goals for my teaching for the new year. 

The first goal is to observe better.  I believe that I miss important things because I am concentrating on what I should do next instead of on the students.  If I observe the students more, I will know better what to do next.

The second goal is to design my classes more in line with the cognitive demands I place on my students.  This idea comes in part from reading Donald Clark Plan B blog and from Brain Rules by John Medina.  As a teacher, I try to balance between all that I know about the subject, which sometimes is a little more than my students and sometimes an immense amount that is a little use to my students, and what my students need.  I am going to try to work toward what they need to know and then teach that better.  This will involve paring the information down to the core.  Part of this teaching will be engaging them in more work in class.  This leads to the third goal.

The third goal comes out of thinking about a couple of posts on Nancy McKeand’s blog, Random Thoughts, in particular this post about the sage on stage or the guide on the side.  She followed with a post on doing homework in class.  These two posts helped me clarify my thinking about my classroom practices.  They came after I had a communication class which worked very well on projects when they had computers available.  Other classes worked on activities in class well too.  However, I was not very proactive as a guide on the side.  Thus, that will be my third goal for the coming year. 

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