Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Back to School Goals - Planning for 2014-15

Howdy all! As promised, I'm linking up again with I {heart} Recess for the Back to School Goals linky! Last time I reflected on last year's goals. This time I'm looking ahead!

My goals for the 2014-15 school year:

Killer B is my lovely wife, btw!
Personal: I'm definitely guilty of being one of those 24/7/365 teacher types. Killer B and I have no kids of our own, so I end up putting a lot of myself into my school kids. Oftentimes too much. Not to get all sappy but, I really need to learn how to shut down teacher-mode and take more time for myself. It's tough because I'm filling up that hole in my life (all those hours most people my age are spending with their kids) with teachery things. Still waiting to figure out what Killer B and I are going to do about that... But on a lighter note... I also want to be sure that I keep my blog up to date and relevant with handy tips and useful activities!

Organization: My desk is sometimes a wreck, and sometimes it's super clean and organized! The problem? When it is super clean it is usually because I've stacked up all the random stuff and papers and stuck them in a drawer! Then at the end of the year I have this drawer full of papers that need to be filed... I really just need to clean off my desk and file the stuff right away. I need to turn my hideaway drawer into something useful!

Planning: Since I teach a 3rd/4th grade looping multi-age, half of my kiddos will be coming back to me next year. So the unique challenge I face is that my new 4th graders have already seen all my tricks when they were my 3rd graders. This means I need all new read-alouds, all new word work activities, all new writing mini-lessons, all new math projects and games, all new mentor sentences, all new science and SS units, and so on. Keeping it fresh means planning this year almost as if it were my first year teaching... and I can't use some of my tried and true favorites! Aaagh!

I was even in their promotional video!
Professional: Penn State has an amazing PDS program. The interns (student teachers) we get from PSU spend the entire year with us, from before the first planning day all the way til the last day of school. They work the same hours I work. They end up getting an amazing pre-service teaching experience that prepares them for teaching better than any other system I've seen. I've been mentoring interns and working with the program for 4 years, and this will be my 5th! I am trying to become more involved with the program, and would love to be a professional development associate for them in the future.  

One way I try to motivate them is by using
read beads and brag tags!
Students: I feel like I do a good job of challenging my kiddos, but I want them to have more intrinsic motivation to challenge themselves. I want them to try and read challenging books, and write more interesting stories for the sake of the challenge and not just because they are supposed to do it!

Motto: The good news is that after I survive this year, the following year should be much easier because I'll be able to go back to "Year 1" and use some of the materials I've made and procured instead of having to reinvent the wheel AGAIN for every single subject, every single day...

Wish me luck this year! What are your goals for the year?


  1. These are awesome goals! That is so wonderful that you will have some of the same students again but will definitely be a challenge to keep things "fresh." Good luck with your goals this year!

  2. What great goals! I know exactly what you mean about "filing" papers into a hiding spot. At the end of this past school year I had an entire Scholastic Book Fair box filled with papers that hadn't been filed. I have made it my goal to not do that this year. Good luck with your goals!

    Lessons in the Sand

  3. I love your blog! I was just thinking about my goals yesterday, and I also felt the need to find a better balance between school and home. I also want to be better at organizing my stuff. I am a pile maker and while I can always find what I need most of the time, I have a strong desire to be better organized. I am moving from 5th grade to 4th grade. I have been looking through my lessons from last year and was excited when I realized that I can use several of my lessons again, including several things that I purchased from your TPT store. YAY! So good luck to you this year, thanks for your thorough and practical advice, and here's to "Keepin' it Fresh!"

  4. I love both of your personal goals. Making time for yourself is so important! I think all teachers have a hard time walking away at the end of the day. Our work is endless!

    My Carolina Classroom


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