The new year always presents a good opportunity to write and though I enjoy writing, I’ve been lacking in relevant opportunities lately. Dave Burgess has probably made the biggest impact on my career in the last year. I had the opportunity to see him twice and read through his Teach Like A Pirate book. In reflecting on the last year and looking ahead to my professional goals in 2015, I can’t think of a better way to begin than to write about my own version of Dave’s GPS challenge.
The GPS challenge is a must watch! Five minutes into seeing Dave live in person I was thinking “this is awesome, I can do this!” I had never seen so much passion, energy, and intensity come from an educator, not to mention a professional development speaker! In 2015, I want to set my GPS to these three words:
I’m making a commitment to bringing more energy into my classroom. I’ll be the first to admit, seeing Dave in person exposed some of my own shortcomings, especially when it comes to energy. I intend to begin the new year by giving my students 100% of my attention during school and it will require more energy. Listening is something I’ll always have to improve on and I want to take each and every opportunity to listen because my students need it. I don’t want to serve raw steak! It takes energy to preheat the grill, baste the meat, prepare a nice dessert, and serve an experience that is alluring to the senses.
I’ve always taken measures that seem beyond the norm to build relationships with my students. You have to reach their hearts before you can reach their minds. I’ve learned that my students remember the mark I make on their character, on their emotions, and on their hearts long before they’ll remember any mark I make on their intelligence. I’m committed to making my mark in 2015.
One of the biggest impressions Dave has made on me in the past year is he’s helped arm me with a creative mindset that has unleashed extraordinary experiences in my classroom. As I commit to asking myself more questions on a regular basis, I want to continue providing my students extraordinary experiences in the classroom. This doesn’t come easy! I have a long ways to go before I write my own book of #TLAP math lessons. If I can continue to work in extraordinary learning experiences for my students now and then, I’ll make my goal. As I continue to leverage the power of other pirates sailing these same waters, I know I can forge ahead transforming my classroom experience for my students. Ultimately, I’d like them to say my class was EXTRA ORDINARY!