As teachers, we can sometimes get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks of our job that we forget to lift ourselves up from the weeds and look at our classroom from a distance. Of course, specific, measurable, and short-term goals are what amount to overall incredible results at the end of the year, but we can’t forget what our big goal is - our North Star.
If you find yourself going through the motions and asking yourself, “Why am I doing this again?”, it may be time to revisit your classroom vision (or create one if you don’t have one yet). I love writing my classroom vision and revisiting it in January to remind myself of the all the important goals I set out to accomplish during the school year.
Just today, I decided to revisit my vision before returning to school after winter break. It took me less than 30 minutes to complete (22:36 to be exact) and I feel so re-energized to tackle quarter three. Here is how I did it:
I created a worksheet that helps me quickly reflect on the five components that I know I need to focus on as a teacher to make my high schoolers successful. The five components are:
You may notice I left a space for buzz phrases in each section. That is because I wanted to find four statement that I wanted to repeat to my students like a broken record that would summarize my attitudes for each of the four categories. I like to ask myself, “If my students had to impersonate me, what do I want them to say?” For me, I hope it is the following four phrases that pop up in their impersonation:
How I Measure Progress Toward My Vision
Of course, your vision statement is your “North Star” for a reason. It may not every come to 100% fruition in your classroom, but if you set the intention to strive for it, you will land in a better place at the end of the year, overall.
The important thing is to track your progress and have evidence that you are improving quarter by quarter. It is hard to measure student attitudes, so I created a 15-question survey that does just that. It measures students’ perspectives in all four categories: Academics, Personal Growth, Access, and Learning Environment.
In an effort to be authentic with my audience, you can see that I failed to survey them in Quarter One. BUT, I surveyed them the day before we left for Christmas break and the findings were quite interesting. Check out the survey and Excel tracking template by clicking on the links below.
Carla Rivera-Cruz (CRC) is an educator and entrepreneur committed to helping like-minded educators reach their fullest potentials.