Monday, October 18, 2010

A small sign of success...celebrate the little victories

I entered the 2010/2011 school year with two goals:

Goal 1 - Try as many new and innovative ideas in my German classes as possible...

Goal 2 - As a Professional Development Representative at my high school, I want to share as many resources and ideas with other teachers as possible... 

Without doubt, I have experienced some minor success with my goals, as well as some "revamping" of how I plan on achieving my goals.  Many of my students have loved the new ideas, while some long for the days of old (zero technology, lots of books and stacks of worksheets...).  Many teachers loved the new resources and ideas for improving classroom instruction, while some claimed it would be too much work because of the lack of time.  Either way, I have learned a tremendous amount about setting goals for myself, as well as how to carefully tread when trying implement new ideas and initiatives.

Since I view myself as a mostly positive and optimistic person, I would like to have a minor celebration of my most recent endeavor.  Last week I polled my students both through the use of a Facebook discussion post, as well as through the use of a Flip Camera activity.  The purpose of these two activities was to empower my students to speak up and voice their opinion on what our next project should be.  Overwhelmingly, the students were against my original plan...and for some odd reason that didn't bother me.  They came up with some great ideas, and in the end, they have earned the opportunity to do a project on a topic of their choosing (as long as it is in German - I am a German teacher).

Long story short, the students are doing a Prezi presentation.  Thus far, I am extremely excited about their presentations.  The main reason I am excited might seem trivial, but if you have ever been a classroom teacher you know it is a big deal.  Most of my students today didn't realize class was over until the bell rang, and when the students are so engaged and interested in their project that they have forgotten to check the time, something must be going well.  What we do in schools every day is similar to a war, and because of this we have to celebrate our minor victories, and push aside our minor defeats.  There will be "ups" and "downs," but if I have to experience a few "downs" to experience an "up" like I did today...then I am ready for war. 


  1. YAY for you!

    I've told you many times that I'm proud of you and what you're doing. I think it's obvious the kids are getting into it, if if they are hesitant at first because it's so different from what they're used to.

    And along that same line... there are people who love change and will embrace it and there are the people who will run and hide or pitch a tizzy of epic proportions because if it's not broken it doesn't need fixing... but maybe it's never been NOT broken so they/we won't recognize that this way isn't the right way. (Holy run on sentence, Batman... my brain is running away with me).

    You do what you feel passionate about and some people are going to hop on the train and some you're going to leave at the station... chances are those aren't the passengers you wanted anyway.

    (Proud Passenger of the I <3 Tarte Train!)

  2. A career in education is a long, drawn out war. You do right Justin in celebrating every victory, whether little or monumental. Whatever keeps your morale positive. Keep on fighting!

  3. Kudos to you for trying new things, taking risks, and helping your students explore new ideas. It's commendable that you give them so much ownership in their learning. You definitely have reason to celebrate these victories and the many more I'm sure are coming your way!

  4. I am very interested in the fact that your administration allows teachers to be representatives for your professional development. It is refreshing to know that teachers are directing the training as opposed to a district initiative that is more than likely fulfilling the obligations of someone's doctorate program. Good luck!

    - JP