Every year, teachers in our province complete goals that they strive to achieve by years end. Some goals however, can be completed at various times throughout the school year. We call these “Teacher Professional Growth Plans“, or TPGP’s for short.
These were my goals for 2011-2012:
- Use preparation time at school more efficiently in order to complete tasks such as planning, marking and parent communication.
- To create a PLN (personal learning network) and learning community not only online but within our own building.
- To complete my first sprint triathlon in spring/summer 2012
As part of my growth plan I came up with strategies to achieve my goals. Yet already this year, I have found myself straying from my well planned path and designed strategies. Of course, I can think of 100 excuses why it has been hard to stay on track; “our school is too busy”, “not enough prep time”, “class numbers are too large”, “coaching has me too busy”, and my favourite “the Flames are playing!”
All these excuses sound great, and at any given time allow me to rationalize my maintaining the status quo.
Be honest, you know the status quo, the plan/show up/teach/email/coach/ go home/mark/sleep/repeat model. None of which challenge me, my students, or the parents of my students. The status quo will not satisfy me. So what will? What will help me get what I want? I’ve decided to simplify my goals.
I want to be better. This could mean many things. I believe in this context it means that I want to be more effective in and out of my classroom. This includes in our building, community, and online. A big part of this is communication.
I want to teach better. I truly believe that I can only achieve this by seeking out the advice of others. Guidance, direction, criticism, and feedback are all necessary here. I cannot be afraid to take risks.
I want my students to learn better. As hard as it is, especially with middle school students, I believe that in order for the students in my classroom to learn better, I must give the students more control over their learning. I have witnessed that this must be done in a correct way in order to maintain sanity, but I’m getting there. Again, I view this area as a work in progress.
If you look at my TPGP’s, or my simplified goals, and think “Wow Cam, you’re way off”, please, tell me why. Likewise, if you have any suggestions, directions, or words of wisdom, please do not hesitate to share!