I attended a two-day work session a couple of weeks ago and “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good,” was one of the facilitator’s favorite mantras. It really resonates with me as I reflect back over this school year.
Admittedly, I am a bit of a perfectionist (I think most educators are…). This was constricting in the beginnings of my transition from second-grade teacher to K-12 Curriculum Director. I would attend a professional development session (mostly on the Common Core), and immediately feel like our district was behind in some area-which we usually weren’t. Or I would get so passionate about what I just heard (usually not the Common Core) and want to instantly implement it with the applicable grades. My superintendent had to keep “gently” reminding me to prioritize my goals for the year.
I have slowly taken his advice and reined myself in. My passions haven’t dimmed, though, and I have already begun my 2012-13 goal list. Some items are continuations from this year (yes, more work on transitioning to the Common Core). Other goal items are new as I take on the responsibilities of high ability coordinator. I have also already slated a few professional conferences that I can’t wait to attend (#author speak). As I move forward in these new challenges, I will look to that mantra to keep me focused on the process our school district is going through and not get caught up in the end results.
I am heading to Chile, South America this summer with my family for eight weeks and I’m hoping to catch up on some professional reading during that time. I just finished an article called “Unlocking Literacy for Intellectual Growth” from Education Week. Great article…my favorite take-away, “…schools [must] teach literacy and subject knowledge interdependently…”. I have been talking with teachers all year about teaching reading skills and comprehension strategies through science and social studies texts. This is especially important in light of Indiana’s 90-minutes of uninterrupted reading instruction, and the Common Core Literacy Standards for the content areas in grades 6-12. A student’s literacy skills don’t have to be perfect in order for him to gain good knowledge in math/science/social studies. The two can work together.
So there is my end-of-year recap, a quick peek into next year’s goals, and a plan (hope/dream/possibility) for summer reading. I can’t wait to see what 2012-13 brings!