Wednesday, July 10, 2013

After vacation???

Great place to visit but who would want to live here?

Live in the city, vacation in the country.
Live in the country, vacation in the city?

The thing about vacation destinations everywhere is the solitude, beauty and removal of all the distractions of "work" life.  Of course, everyone else is there as a seasonal visitor as well.  There is plenty of traffic during rush hours.  But it is still seasonal. It is not permanent.  The mountains.  Lakes. Beaches. Tourist "Traps" all have attractive features, great photo and adventure opportunities but atypical full time employment opportunities.  Typical business is tourist centered, therefore cyclical and often temporary.  After pondering a life style at a vacation destination, take extra time to self-reflect, help advance yourself and make yourself a better person...  then prepare to take care of others.  Consider annual goals.  Consider adjustments with the students in mind.  Consider adjustments personally. 
Annual Goals
For instance, every year, a few of us consider our annual goals.  We break them into categories and how they fit in our current settings.  We quantify them, attach rubrics and use data to establish desired outcomes.  At the end of the period, we examine, adjust and celebrate the successes.  Is it scientific or just helping steer our vision and direction?
Professional Goals
Some of our professional goals are established for us.  We must continue with training or education.  To ensure development and high standards, ongoing exposure to current thought and trends as a profession evolves.  Yet our own goals often are the ones we address.  When these goals overlap, our own and the ones mandated, the students will benefit.
Personal Goals
Goals that have little do do with our profession but often motivate us in our profession are often the first sacrificed.  Shifting priorities to balance both a personal and professional life is often the solution to career burn-out on one hand and relationship issues on the other. "all work and no play..."
Student/Classroom Goals
Finally, classroom norms, student behaviors, and how students engage in class is always at the front of every teachers mind.  Even during vacation, a teacher considers using everything as a learning lesson.  One of my favorite stories was about a teacher that went to the beach and brought back a small rock for each student.  Upon her return, she made a big deal and gave a rock to each student while affirming that student in front of the entire class.  Nothing too big but a paragraph about each person!  Amazingly, the students all listened to hear what she would say about even "Johnie."  But she found and spoke positive truth into his life, in front of everyone.  This solidified the impact and influence she had on all her students!  They really believed she liked them!  She believed it too!
Write some goals.  Some personal, professional and student centered goals.  Make them as detailed as necessary for personal peace.  Share them with another and post them.  Even ask for feedback.

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