Field Goals: A Hit or Miss
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Football and New Year’s Resolutions
It is the National Football League playoff season, and along with that comes the heartbreak of losing games, sometimes by a made or missed field goal. Just watching the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders this past Sunday was nerve-racking. I had difficulty writing the city’s names for those two teams as I have followed football since the early Sixties. Research shows that field goals are made at least sixty-four percent of the time. That is much better than the nineteen percent New Year’s Resolution fulfillment rate. I typically don’t make any resolutions, but I must have goals. Of course, much like anyone else, some are met, and others are quickly forgotten. So here I go jumping into the pool with a list of goals. Notice I said goals, not resolutions.
As a person working in education, I want to keep these simple, including two personal goals.
Create and publish a biweekly newsletter. I enjoy writing about trends in educational technology, but need to be disciplined enough to publish every two weeks.
Continue reading and staying updated on the latest trends in educational technology.
Work with new teachers on classroom technology integration.
Work with teacher education programs to update curriculum so that it meets the needs for teacher candidates in the area of technology.
Personal goal – cycle at least 2200 miles. This is goal that I met last year and is part of my self-care.
Personal goal – using an idea from the book, The Generosity Habit from one of my favorite authors, Matthew Kelly, perform give one thing away daily
Keeping it simple
The past two years of instruction have been difficult, and creating unrealistic goals creates more stress. During these uncertain times, I believe in keeping everything simple for teachers. Maybe it is simple as adding video to your instructional platform. That in itself is a worthy goal and will pay off with the daily uncertainty of in-person learning. Additionally, as the practice becomes permanent, students will understand learning goals and expectations.
Another relatively simple teaching goal is to try one thing new. Maybe you haven’t used the Eduprotocols strategies. Pick one and use it with your students. Try a check-in survey with your students if you haven’t already done so. It will be rewarding. An additional benefit of the check-ins is that they connect you with students. You can also develop a daily attendance question to begin each class. The link provides a comprehensive list of questions, so you don’t need to rack your brain. Just put the question on a slide and project it at the beginning of each class.
Two years ago, I integrated a Google Slide called Scribble Scrabble with some lines arranged randomly. The purpose was to have students create a drawing or design in five minutes. It gave those with artistic talent a time to shine. For others, it was a tool to reduce the anxiety of 6 hours grind of Zooming. Students drew anything they wanted, and it did not require much work from me. This idea was borrowed from another history teacher looking to improve student engagement during pandemic instruction.
Along with a teaching goal, I suggest a self-care goal. Nothing too outlandish such as running a marathon when you haven’t yet started running yet. Going for a short walk after work or finding some quiet time, even 10 minutes. I realize that if you are a parent, time seems to disappear with tending to the needs of the children. However, you will find that the time will allow you to reboot mentally and emotionally, especially if it becomes a daily habit. Maybe reading a book on a topic other than education will provide well-needed time for yourself. There are thousands of ideas now that the term self-care has become trendy. Find one that works for you.
As the year continues, make self-care a goal because you are worth it. Teachers’ amount of time and dedication into the profession often, ignoring their own needs, cannot be measured effectively. But as we have seen the past two years, we need to take care of ourselves. Our families need us, our students need us, and the world needs teachers.
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