New Years Resolutions 2016

A big thank you to +Sylvia Duckworth for her inspiring infographic!
2 things you do well and will continue to do:
-  Connecting with other educators both face-to-face and digitally has become a fundamental part of my self-directed PD and is something I have come to value deeply. I feel I am in a constant state of improvement as an educator because of all the others who propel me forward. Just last month I spent an evening at the new Google office in Kitchener connecting with other passionate educators. I was inspired! We talked about Fed Ex days, use of inquiry in math throughout all grade levels, the need to facilitate the type of learning that will be relevant for students in their lifetime (this is so unpredictable)! We played with coding programs, we were enamored by the physical space and how this facilitated our collaboration (how might we create similar spaces in more traditional schools?). Being a connected educator ... this is on my list of things to continue to do!

-  Embrace change (and be okay with setback).  This is one I explored more deeply in my last post about the best things I did in 2015. It has taken some work but I have come to see the value in trying things outside of your comfort zone (even when sometimes they don't go as planned). In 2016 I will continue to make mistakes and model this mindset for my students.

0 Something you want to stop doing:
-   This is going to be a hard one. I am going to STOP letting time and curriculum constraints alter what I know is best for learning. I recently watch this TED talk by Will Richardson called "The Surprising Truth About Learning in Schools". It is well worth a watch. It explores the disconnect between what we BELIEVE and what we PRACTICE. I will keep in the forefront of my mind the following question stated by Richardson, "What are the conditions required to help kids learn in a 'sticky' way?".

1 person you want to improve your relationship with:
-    My dad. My dad has early onset Alzheimer's disease. My family and I have been dealing with this for a few years now. I spend a lot of time thinking about how this affects me, how my mom is handing it (she is the most empathetic and giving person I know and her patience and love for my dad is awe inspiring). My goal is to spend more time thinking about him and how I can help him transition through the stages in a kind and dignified manner. My relationship with him is changing all the time and I am slowly coming to terms with what our relationship looks like and how I can help build him up. I can spend time with him in ways that are most comfortable to him, I can affirm him through my words and actions. Slowing down with him, alongside him, is something I need to get better at.

6 things you will do this year to step outside of your comfort zone:
-   I will offer more time for self-directed learning in my classroom. Genius Hour is something I read a lot about last summer and began planning for, but haven't put into practice yet. That is about to change! Stay tuned!
-   Computer Science: I plan to sharpen my own skills in this area inspired by my students.
-   Spend time being creative! Take on art project, (re)learn to knit, invest time in personal hobbies. Giving to myself will allow me to have more to give to others.
-   Consider my leadership skills as I shadow administrators and consultants in the coming months
-   I will read more often. Books! Lots of books of all varieties. I spend a great deal of time reading posts and twitter feeds and my goal for 2016 is to disconnect from technology more often and make time for reading for pleasure.
-   Embrace opportunities for public speaking ... this is a goal I started in 2014 and one I need to continue to work on. Realize I have something to say and not shy away from saying it!

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