At the beginning of my 4th year of teaching online, I posted the 3 Goals that were most important for me to accomplish this (last) school year. The goals were based on me improving from the prior year, but ended up being very shortsighted. Let’s put it this way, I fell short on the 3 goals but ended up being successful in other areas that I hadn’t thought of when I made these. So, I sort of reached my objectives, in a wishy washy kind of way.
First, I wanted to be more persistent. I meant that I needed to try and call or visit my kids on campus more. At an online school this is difficult, but I did a really good job of this the first semester logging over 300 phone calls in 18 weeks, but came up nearly empty in the second semester. The main reason why is because I decided to build 2 new courses for next school year. That took all my free work time.
When I think about persistence as a goal for next year, I want it to mean more than communication with students. I want it to be about persisting change and progress amongst students, peers, and authority.
My second goal was to be more resourceful, to learn more and teach students more creatively. I learned more than I ever have in my life this school year; it did not improve my failure rate though. I did get kids being more creative. I did get kids to try things they had never done before. I did get kids to take risks. I just failed at getting more kids to do that. Next year that has to be the focus.
My third goal was to be more positive. More positive about my views of administration. More positive about my views of our staff, and especially more positive in my belief that our students could succeed at an online school. I did great with the kids, never gave up for a second this year. Our staff I’m still very skeptical of, and they are continually allowed to fail these kids. That’s on admin, and until that changes or the culture of our school changes, admin is accountable.
I haven’t thought about my goals for next year, but I obviously have to continue working on a couple of these.
As with every school year, if you aren’t reflecting and trying to better yourself for your students, then you are doing them a disservice.
I think the ADDIE Instructional Design model can be applied to “performance design” as well. I will Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate my educational performance constantly. I will continue to make changes. I will improve. And hopefully, just hopefully, my kids will be the evidence of that.