If you have ever been on Weight Watchers (don’t worry, this post is NOT about weight loss) you know the power of being held accountable. The central idea of the weight loss program is that you are held accountable for your weight loss by attending weekly meetings where you get weighed and then discuss your progress. It sounds awful, and mostly it is, but the thing is…it also works. Knowing that you have shared your goal with another person. Knowing that the people who you have shared your goal with are actually going to see the progress you are making. Knowing that you will be struggling right along with a whole group of people who are wrestling with the same demons. All of that works. People lose weight.
In many ways, that is the number one reason that I started this blog. No, not to lose weight, but to be held accountable. I have really big goals for myself for this coming school year. I didn’t like the way that I ended this past school year. I felt disconnected from my students. I felt like I had settled. As I wrote about in my first post, I felt like I had gotten comfy in what I knew and I was happy just to stay there. And I made a promise to myself that I was going to change that. I was going to push myself to be better. I was going to push myself to do better for my students. But the thing about a promise to yourself is that it is really easy to break. There are relatively few consequences for breaking a promise that no one knows about.
Enter this blog.
I don’t even pretend that a whole bunch of people are going to read this blog and hold me accountable. That’s not the point. The point is that I am putting it out there. I am setting my goals for anyone who happens by to see. And by sharing my goals, I feel more accountable. You, whoever might be reading this, have now become my Weight Watchers weekly meeting. You know my goals. Perhaps you have struggled along similar paths. Perhaps you are even currently struggling along with me. All of that matters. All of that makes me feel like I am going to reach these goals, at some point in the future.
So before I end this post. I am going to spell out my goals. I am going to list them clearly so that I can be held accountable. I am going to make myself vulnerable by sharing goals that I am not sure how exactly I am going to meet, but I know that if and when I meet them, my students will benefit in major ways. Here they are:
1) Give more power to my students. Trust them more. Let them teach each other. Let them learn more on their own and then teach me.
2) Bring technology into my classroom in a meaningful way. I will attempt to experiment with blogging, Twitter and Skype.
3) Connect the kids inside of my classroom to people outside of my classroom to help my students become global citizens.
4) Create more authentic learning experiences with more meaning and more purpose. Provide authentic audiences so that my students know that they are contributing to the larger world with the work that they do.
So there they are. I have some ideas. I am searching for more. It is both scary and reassuring to post this list. I look forward to encouragement, support and ideas along the way!
This is my contribution for today to the #engchat’s ongoing #100words100days challenge.