Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Achieving the GOAL

In order to make sure I reach the goals laid out in my personal GAME plan, I must evaluate the resources available and truly reflect upon what I am currently doing to make it happen. One of the greatest struggles is finding the time to gather materials, plan and implement new lessons. I currently teach at a no worksheet campus that requires very focused lesson plans with collaborative learning, small group re-teach and a technology integrated curriculum. Our children are at-risk due to language barriers, economic status and poor home lives. While it is imperative to reach them on their level, the demands of our campus and administration force us to "over" plan. I set a goal for myself to have collaborative, learner based, technology enriched instruction 80% of the day. When discussing the incorporation of technology into my instructional day, I am very fortunate to have a classroom computers on wheels, COW, cart. This resource allows each student to have a laptop daily for instructional purposes. There are several resources that I will need to achieve this goal. First of all, I will need the support of my colleagues. Due to the high demands of our campus, district and administration, we must work as a collaborative team to "fit" everything in. We plan as a grade level in addition to sharing ideas and new ways to accomplish projects. Another resource that I rely upon is web forums, online searches and blogs. Many educators have fabulous ideas, and many times they are the best resource out there. I have found that people who are actually teaching in these high demand, 21st Century classrooms have the "right" words that connect with my learning style. By searching for these resources and ideas, having technology available and planning with a team, I am on my way to achieving this goal.

Although my second goal, seeking out and participating in at least 2 weeks of professional development, seems a bit easier up front, I have realized that this might be a difficult task. Once again, I need support from colleagues on my campus as well as in other districts. The two things that worry me the most is not having enough time to attend these trainings, and finding the professional developments that will benefit me the most. I will rely upon the learning community that surrounds me to overcome this obstacle. Overall, I am going to try and attain these two goals.



Douglas Gauld said...

I am really impressed by the different approach of your school. It seems like there are wonderful things going on there regarding the collaborative approach, integration of technology, and small-group re-teaching. At the same time, it sounds like you are under a great deal of stress dealing with a very demanding administration. What does your paperwork load look like? Do you find that most of what you are required to do, though arduous, is worthwhile in promoting student learning, or do you find yourself doing a lot of ultimately pointless documentation? Our administration may pay lip-service to collaboration, but often (unwittingly, I trust) places obstacles in the path of true collaboration through scheduling that does not provide for planning time (including after school activities). Some of us have resorted to asynchronous collaboration methods, but this is far from the norm in a school where Web 2.0 technology is not only omitted from professional development, but deliberately blocked.

Nancy Groselle said...


Your school sounds very innovative and focused on creating a school designed to educating students for the 21st century. I notice that you and your colleagues do a lot of planning together. This is a wonderful resource for ideas. Do you have very much common planning time built into you school day? I have forty minutes a day for planning and many days I have to cover a class for a teacher who is out ill and there isn’t a substitute. It would be great to have common planning with fellow math teachers because I agree with you they are a wonderful resource for knowledge.


Beau Garrett said...


Comming planning is great when it is done correctly. We have common planning at our school and it works really great when we are allowed to meet. This year though we have to meet with our department as a whole 3 days a week and have meetings with the administration. This has hindered our common planning time with our subject area. Also, we are required to do so much paperwork we often do not have adequate time to plan lesson that are as engaging as we would like. How is your common planning? Does your school leave you alone and let you plan are do they require you to do things that hinder your actual planning time?

Jonathan Garrett

Hayley D said...

Nancy and Jonathan,

We are supposed to have 45 minutes a day as our planning period. However, many of those days are taken by training, paperwork, administrative items and so forth. We actually just had a veteran teacher pull up some ATPE documentations that state that teachers should have a minimum of 45 minutes daily as duty/meeting free instructional planning time. Unfortunately, my campus is micro-managed and it interferes with this time.


Hayley D said...


This year has been particularily stressful as far as paperwork goes. I do believe that some of the paperwork we must do is meaningless to someone who plans and implements lessons just find. Of course, administration has their excuses for it. Some of it makes sense, others do not.


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