It’s no secret that last year was horrible. It was my tenth year and it was bad. I lost it. There was no joy. No matter what I tried, nothing worked. I could never see anything through. So this summer, I PDed like crazy, cause, well you know, it’s all my fault.
The major theme that has run all through my reading as well as the PDs I attended was the need to be intentional with absolutely everything we do as teachers. I confess that I have never thought deeply enough, thoroughly enough, to figure this intentional thing out. For nine years I would plan and execute and veer off a bit and replan and recapture and then several miracles always happened because the kids got it. I feel now like I threw lessons up at the wall and saw what happened. If it stuck for 1st period I reused it for 4th period. If an approach was a disaster 2nd period, I changed how to do it for 3rd period. I basically did this for 9 years; and it worked. I did more reacting than I did acting.
Last year was a wake-up call. This summer was an awakening. This fall, I’m getting up and I am going to figure this out.
Here’s my plan so far—ask myself continuously, why am I doing this? Does this lead to better understanding for students? Can students see the connection between what we are doing and the math supports what we are doing? What do I want the outcome to be? Is the activity serving a purpose or do I have an activity in search of a purpose. What I do must BE ON PURPOSE! No more waiting on miracles. I think I used up my share of them my first nine years.
Signs for the back of my room and my desk and my mirror—where ever I look: Why am I doing that? What are my students learning? Is what students are doing and learning what I intended? Deliberate. Conscious. Intentional.
Specifics yet to come. Stay tuned. Much work to be done.