Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Three Words: Present, Persistent and Proactive

I have been thinking for some time, okay the last couple of days, what to write as my first blog of the new year. I have enjoyed reading a number of posts during that time, each one as inspiring as the next. The latest one I read, by Jennifer Hogan (@Jennifer_Hogan) really resonated with me. She was asked to sum up her "New Year's Resolution" in three words. Yes, only three words! I liked this challenge so much, I had to jump in...

My first word is Present:

I vow this year to strive to be in the Present. With my busy schedule, I have developed a bad habit of always looking ahead to the next thing on the agenda. I have started to look at things as something to check off the "To-Do List". I am striving this year to be as present as possible as much as a I can. Professionally, that is going to help me when I begin to start conferencing with my students after the break. This is going to force me to stay focused on what the students are actually learning instead of just what I am teaching.

With my family, I want to keep enjoying what we are doing at the moment. My kids go back to school tomorrow, and my son is extremely upset. He loves when the family is together for either a long weekend or an extended vacation. He is only nine years old, but he already understands how powerful a strong family network is. I love how he constantly reminds me of that.

My second word is Proactive:

I vow this year to strive to be more proactive. I want to try and stay one-step ahead of up and coming strategies or policies that are current in education. I want to push myself to extend my Professional Learning Network. I want to stay proactive in current methods of instruction that will challenge both my students and myself to make our classroom the best it can be. If staying current leads me to getting involved in altering/challenging educational policies, so be it.

With my family, I want to try and create an environment with my kids where they do not hesitate coming to me if they have any problems or questions. They are starting to get to the age where they are using social media. I want to stay proactive in learning with them in this area. They need a positive role model in this area,  and I will do my best to try and stay one step ahead of the curve. My kids are worth the extra time and energy....

My third word is Persistent:

I am planning a major shift in my classroom this winter. I want to start conferencing with my students. I am planning on meeting with them individually to have them show me what they have learned. I am planning on using a series of "I Can" Statements for my students each chapter. They will be responsible for conferencing with me in order to show mastery of each topic. This is going to be a major change for me. I know there will be some challenging days. I know there will be times when I want to go back to the way things were. I am vowing to remain persistent to stick with this change of a more student-centered classroom. My students, and myself, will be better off for it.

With my family, I want to remain striving to be a positive role model to my kids. I want to stay involved in their daily activities. I want to have the strength to admit when I am wrong, and the courage to face them when I  do it. I want to have the strength to help them with their daily challenges as they grow up. I want to show them that it is okay to fight for what you believe in...even if others are telling you you are wrong. I want them to continue pushing themselves to improve...because you learn so much when you step out of your comfort zone!

Many thanks to Jennifer Hogan for her inspiration with this post. I am looking forward to a great new year. What would be your three words for 2014?


Heather said...

Great post! I, too, am intrigued by this challenge... I can't help but try and think of what my three words would be :) I think I would have to go with Calm, Brave and Active (all both in and out of the classroom). Best wishes for a wonderful new year!

Jasper Fox Sr. said...

Love the honesty in this post Jim, great writing prompt! My favorite of the ones you chose would have to be "present". We would all be well served to remember staying in the moment(s) both in the classroom and at home. Again well done!

Jim Cordery said...

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to read my post. Heather, I really like your choice of Brave. There are so many different ways you can go with that one. Jasper, staying present is something I constantly battle with, both as a parent and a teacher. Happy New Year to both of you.

Jennifer Hogan said...

Excellent post, Jim! You have definitely set up some challenges for yourself by planning to step out of your comfort zone. There are so many benefits to your conferencing with your students. They will be out of their comfort zone, too, but will learn persistence by your modeling it. Sounds like an exciting year!