Another year winds to a close and like many teachers, I’m gifted with a rare opportunity for real reflection over winter break. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and relaxing week! As for me, it’s been low key, fun, yet uneventful--which I’ve really, really appreciated. In the spirit of holidays, thanks, and resolutions, I wanted to reflect on my blog, work, and growth this year, sharing my successes and challenges. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions usually, but I do like the idea of putting my intentions in writing for a public and authentic audience. By publishing my thoughts here, it keeps me honest, and I’m counting on you to hold me to them.
Reflection on 2015
I started this blog in April and have posted with regularity about twice a week since. I’ve learned a lot about myself, writing, and my audience, and have been so proud of the growth I’ve seen. This is post 73 on the Schoenblog, plus I’ve contributed a handful of articles to other publications, both print and online.
I enjoyed digging through some of these posts to reflect on the best of the Schoenblog. The articles below are five of my most popular ones this year. I’ve learned that my readers like list posts, mistake posts, and hands-on practical tips, especially when they involve Google Add-ons and Classroom.
- Seven Essential Chrome Extensions for Teachers and Students
- 8 Things Education Should Learn From Star Wars
- 5 Mistakes I Made With Educational Technology
- Back to School Must Haves: Teachers’ Secret Supply List
- The 5 Best Google Forms & Sheets Add-ons for Teachers
The Education Calendar
#TheEduCal was a huge accomplishment for me. Dani and I saw a need and did our best to address it, which involved learning so much and finding more and more ways to grow. I had to learn new programming, consult with experts, and publish for a real-world audience. I’m proud of what we’ve created and how we are always looking to grow and evolve. We hope to build a resource to promote professional learning and growth for all educators.
Growing my PLN
Whether it’s participating in Twitter chats, making face-to-face connections and friendships, or attending and presenting at conferences all around the region, I’m excited about how much I’ve been able to connect and grow. I love that I can ask questions, seek guidance, and learn from so many wonderful connected educators from around the globe with a few clicks.
This fall, I began a doctoral program in educational leadership. It’s been wonderful to connect my passions: scholarship, education, and technology. My program has great flexibility so that I’ve been able to focus all of my work thus far in the field of educational technology and I am excited to continue to be challenged and grow as I move towards my dissertation and administrative degree.
5 Big Shifts
In August, I wrote an article titled 5 Big Shifts for My Classroom in 2015. I wrote about wanting to redesign my students learning experiences so that they are centered on students, focused on connections, creations, a community of learners, and communication. I’m proud of these shifts but know that I need to do more.
Dear faithful reader,
Here are my resolutions for the upcoming year. Please help to hold me to them.
Student Portfolios & Reflection
Somehow, I never introduced portfolios to my English 10 students. I intended to, and still do. In January, I want to have my students carefully reflect upon their work and progress and begin the portfolio process to provide better, more meaningful feedback to students and to help them recognize growth.
Conferencing & Revision
I allow and encourage my students to revise all of their writing, but I think I need to build in class time for face to face conferencing. I want to continue to build personal relationships with students to encourage them to grow and to do better.
I’ve spent the past few months in my role as a coach designing new curriculum and working with teachers in an office. Now I need to get into more classrooms. I crave this interaction with both students and teachers and need to make this a top priority.
Writing & Blogging
I’ve spent a lot of time lately reflecting on my blogging, discussing writing and promotion with friends, and reading or listening to podcasts like ProBlogger. I want to keep writing and sharing, and to do it better. I love that the writing I do here is in a totally different mode than my academic work, but they continue to inform one another.
I know I could list a dozen more things I’m proud of and even more that I want to do better next year. I’m thankful to have this space to voice my reflections and to have an audience to read it. In the new year, let’s take that relationship to the next level by adding comments.
What are you most proud of this year? What are your education resolutions? I would love to see your ideas in the comments below.
cross posted at www.aschoenbart.com
Adam Schoenbart is a high school English teacher, Google Education Trainer, and EdD candidate in Educational Leadership. He teaches grades 10-12 in a 1:1 Chromebook classroom at Ossining High School in Westchester County, NY and received the 2014 LHRIC Teacher Pioneer Award for innovative uses of technology that change teaching and learning. Read more at The SchoenBlog and connect on Twitter @MrSchoenbart.