Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Public Learning Goals

Every year in Ontario, teachers need to complete an Annual Learning Plan (ALP).  We need to set professional goals for ourselves and we were encouraged to  set these goals to align with our Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA).  I used to really follow this rule.  I would fill the form with educational jargon, set goals that only somewhat mattered to me, and submitted it because that's what someone wanted me to do.

Then, a few years ago, I realised (almost certainly #mydoglikesbones) that nobody ever read my ALP.  Moreover, I realised that the goals I had been setting didn't really matter to me. This bothered me.  A lot.  I think goal setting is very important.  I wanted to have MY goals.  Not ones I thought others (who didn't even read the thing) wanted me to have.  So a few years ago I started writing my ALP goals around things I wanted to do to support my students and my practice.  I stuck to them, mostly.

When I reflected this year I realised that while I have my own goals now, I still don't have that audience.  There is something about being held accountable.  So, here I share.  I will post some of the goals I have this year for the world to see...and when you see me, ask me how they are going...voila!  Accountability.

Some Goals (This list might grow - I do not think goal setting should only be done once a year)

  • BLOG MORE.  November is NaNoWriMo...authors are encouraged to write a set number of words every day to get a novel written in a month. I don't want to write a novel but I do want to share and reflect more.  I want to write a blog post - no matter how small or big, shallow or deep, every work day in November.  It is ambitious.  But I will try.
  • TRY SKETCHNOTING: I am not an artist.  I am OK with this.  I do love pretty looking notes.  I want to try my hand at sketchnoting...I think it will help me concentrate and really train my brain in a new, challenging way.
  • LEARN TO CODE: I want to learn to code.  Not like wizard coding, but just a bit.  Maybe write a simple game or script.
  • SPREADSHEETS:  Excel/Google sheets have so much power.  I totally underuse them.  I want to find a course or something to teach me more..problem I forsee is that unless I learn about them in authentic and relevant way, I am not going to understand or retain...must keep that in mind when I look for learning opportunities.
I will add to the list as I think of (or really am inspired by) more.  Stay tuned for updates.

As dicated by the Universe: My Manifesto

 I often find the universe sends me loud and clear messages about my learning path.  What I mean is that I will be haunted (for lack of a better word) by books or ideas.  I will be walking through Indigo and a book will catch my eye, the next day a friend will recommend the same book, that night the book will be referenced by someone in one of my Twitter PLNs.  Right now I am being haunted not by a book but by Manifestos.

I've seen books, heard podcasts, seen Pins, overheard conversations at baseball games (!) about writing a Manifesto.

So, I finally decided it is time for me to learn about, explore, and write my own manifesto. A quick Google search led me to the image to the right.  Turns out I have been carrying around a manifesto without even realising it.  I have about a dozen LuluLemon bags.  I love them.  They are the right size and sturdy.  I have also always loved their inspirational sayings.  I visited this life hack website which gave me more inspiration.  I think I am ready.  My mentor Mary Kooy often cites the Dutch proverb: What the heart is full of, the mouth runs over with.  That is where a true manifesto comes from.  I think a manifesto needs to be organic; it needs to come from your can't reflect for a while - it needs to be what your heart is full of. 

Here goes.

My Work(ing) Manifesto:

  1. Ask for Help
  2. You don't need to know all the answer.
  3. Don't Do.  Teach to empower.
  4. Learn & Laugh
  5. Take Risks
  6. Make Mistakes and learn from them
  7. Innovate - no matter how small (even though it is a big word)
  8. Listen
  9. Focus on the task at hand (see the value in monotasking)
  10. Don't overthink
  11. Take care of you.

I would like to thank Gretchen Ruben and Elizabeth Craft and Happier Podcast #87 for the final push to write this.