Posts tagged goal setting
What Does Success Look Like?
Matt and I are fast approaching our one year anniversary in this role.  When we started, last February, with the roughest of plans.  We were going to demonstrate how the Halton District School Board is building a shared culture of Innovation.  How we did that was left, for the most part, up to us.  No pressure.

We both really wanted to create our own Podcast, but some advice from Phil Davison and Cindy Cosentino led us to believe that it might be better to start with a Blog first.  So we dove in, blogging and then eventually launching our “Case For Innovation…” video series, followed by a few Calls to Action.  We’ve Shifted at The Barn, we’ve presented at conferences both inside and outside Halton, we’ve been vulnerable and silly.  In short, we’ve tried our best to put our own individual learning on display.

Matt and I have a lot of fun in this role.  We have a very fluid “to-do” list that gets pretty fuzzy around the edges.  With lots of balls in the air it’s sometimes tough to judge if we are making progress.  Most days we spend our afternoons together talking about what to post next, or perhaps we plan an upcoming visit to a classroom.  We worry about how to create more secondary conversations, both on and off the blog.

Matt turned to me the other day and asked, “If we keep doing this, what does success look like in three years?”

To say I was shook up would be an understatement, because I don’t know what our success might look like.  Many subscribers to our blog and lots of views on our videos would be nice, but that in an of itself doesn’t make us successful.  

We’ve learned that Innovation is a process that leads to improvements to a product, process or understanding.  

Given that definition of Innovation and that you are here reading this blog because (hopefully) you want to improve something in your practice, I’m curious what success might look like to you?  If you follow along with us for the next little while, what would your success criteria be?  How would you know if you shifted your practice?

In the end, my own personal success criteria is a moving target and I’m ok with that.  I want to Make School Different and in three years time I’ll be happy if I can look back and see that change.  I’d also be alright with us making a podcast or two.
Getting Ready For September 5th

Here we go, all set for another year playing this game called school!  Some of you undoubtedly have spent some time last week preparing for students’ arrival on Tuesday, some of you unpacking after moving schools, or perhaps arriving at your first school.

It is a time of transition, beginnings and reflection:  how are we going to do better this year?  

If you are like us, the inevitable nervous butterflies are settling in.  Imagine how our students must be feeling, especially if they are transition into a new school.

So while you are getting ready for September 5th, here are some challenges we’d like you to consider completing before the first day of school.

  • Sign up for Twitter!  Sit back a listen for a bit, search for some hashtags, follow some cool people.  Join the conversation when you feel like you have something to say, or just participate by watching.
  • Participate in the Observe Me challenge!  Make a sign for your classroom door and invite other teachers into your classroom.  The best way for us to do a better job in our schools is to share what we do with each other.
  • Consider shadowing a student or two for a day.  Talk to your admin team about getting some release time to see what it feels like to be a student for a day.  

The best way we can get better and have fun doing so is to open our doors, talk, share, experiment and play.  If we have fun, that is a great way to ensure our students will too.

Shift Your [Blank]

earlybird_shiftkey.jpgSo, we have nearly made it!  Another year down.  Hopefully you have been reading the blog (heck, you are now at least!) and you have been thinking about ways that you’d like to experiment, to push, to shift.  The end of the school year, however is a bit of a tricky time to implement big changes.  Well, how about connecting with fellow shifters a little bit before the next school year ramps up?  We are offering you a chance to “Shift Your [Blank]”, a summer symposium on Thursday, August 24th.   It will be a chance to connect, think about some ways to shift your _____ for the upcoming school year.  There will be a free lunch and Shift swag to boot. So, what do you say?  Want to shift gears with us and start dreaming about September?  We know, it is a tricky thing to think ahead to August, but the early Shifter gets the worm.  Open to All Secondary Teachers.  Register Here to Embrace the Shift!

Call to Action #1 - The "Why"
Today, the Shift launches the first in a series of videos that we are calling “Call to Action”!  Here is how we picture it working: with each “Call to Action”, we are asking you to take on a small challenge, reflect on how it’s goes and share your reflections, either here in the comments, or on Twitter using #HDSBInnovates. We are hoping to spark some thinking and sharing on specific topics as we delve deeper into how to innovate and improve our practice as educators here at Halton.

So, without further ado, here is this week’s Call to Action.  Have a watch, we’ll be here for you when you get back:

So?  What do you think?  What would you like to improve? This isn’t about change for change sake.  If innovation is about "creating new and better things", within education, we have to assess if what we have done is truly better.  If you simply do different things that are not better, this is change for the sake of change. This is why asking WHY is important.

Click HERE to bring you to a doc to work on your goal 

Setting a goal
and sharing it is a small and monumental first step.  Try to visualize what your class might be like after making that improvement, and share that with colleagues.  Sharing that goal with others is the greatest predictor of whether you are going to achieve that goal.

Here is some pseudo-mathiness for you:
Setting that goal for yourself < Deciding why you want to achieve that goal <Sharing your goal with friends.
Putting my money where my mouth is, this is my goal and my “why”?  I am an art teacher, and I am working with my teaching partner (shoot out to Jennifer Smallwood!) to restructure the final 30% in that course.  After the PD day on Friday, we had some great discussions about how to structure the creative process to provide structure to students while offering them huge choice and freedom to demonstrate their learning in their own way.  WHY?  Students love having choice in how they express their learning and the also appreciate having structure at the beginning of a project, because simply saying “you have total free reign, be creative aaaaand GO!” is terrifying.

I don’t want to be left behind so I’m going to throw my hat in the ring too!  What do I want to improve?  I want my students to move more often during a period.  Why?  Because like we’ve mentioned, it is tough to sit in one place for 75 minutes.  I know this is going to be a challenge for me this week, given what’s coming for my classes, but that’s not going to stop me from trying!

Shift Conference
We can’t wait to meet some of you Shifters tomorrow at the Shift Conference.  We’d love to meet our fellow innovators in the board and hear about what interesting work you are doing!  It will be a fun and invigorating day

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