Monday, December 30, 2013

Reflecting and planning/dreaming

With one day left in 2013, I am finding myself deep in thought both reflecting on the past year and thinking about how to make the new year even better.  I'm not a fan of New Years Resolutions, but I do value reflection, planning and dreaming.

So, 2013 flew by but was amazing.  My school year in numbers:
    4th year as Principal at SSES
    Member of 1 new district level committee (social media)
    4 amazing teachers hired to join our team at school
    Attended 4 professional conferences (responsive classroom, ASCD x 2, NAESP)
    Accumulated over 1400 tweets on school account
    1 school blog started with many entries (
    6 doctoral classes, 18 credits accomplished (1year down!)
    4 entries posted to my personal blog (
    Co-launched 1 new twitter chat (#mdeschat, Thursdays at 9pm)
    Read too many professional books to count (a few favorites: The Smartest Kids in the World, Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind, Professional Conversations, David and Goliath- ok, just started but 1/2 way done)
I'm sure there's a lot more details and successes from the year to include.... and i will as i continue to reflect on the year, but for now this is a start.

One of the most impactful for me has been starting the doctoral program at with an emphasis on educational leadership and policy.  6 classes and 18 credits later... I'm definitely surviving (I think).  Being a student is making me think about education with a fresh perspective.  It makes me grumpy at times because it reminds me that we are doing education all wrong!  My goal is to channel that grumpiness into positive change as we move into the new year (especially with regard to how we think about assessment, inquiry, student ownership of learning, and mastery).

So, as I think about what I was to accomplish in 2014 professionally, educationally and with regards to school.... Here are my early ideas:

 -Spend as much time as possible with students, get into classrooms and be better connected to learning.
- Continue expanding our embrace of innovation by joining global projects, inspiring kids to dream big by tackling real world problems, and encouraging risk-taking by colleagues
- Challenge status que and 'the way we've always done things in education,' both at my school and at a bigger level.
-Embracing blogging as a professional tool to allow me to think through my ideas a more and to elicit conversation from colleagues near and far. (ie more than 4 posts next year!).

I'd love your advice and input about how to make these things happen consistently in 2014.

1 comment:

Chris Wooleyhand said...

Nice post, Rachel. A good example of the importance of reflection and challenging the status quo.