Reflecting on 2009, Anticipating 2010
I spent a bit of time tonight looking over my 2009 goals – both personal and professional. It’s been a pretty amazing year. The last 4 months have taught me so much and are the majority of the reason that 2009 has been so good.
My professional goals for 2009:
- Get 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
- Focus in my office.
- Read books that will enhance my teaching.
- Do my Rubicon entries.
I would say that I made some significant progress in 3 out of those 4 goals. There were a handful of nights that I didn’t get enough sleep (and boy, did I feel it the following day!). My principals consented to me being based in one room this year, meaning that I had my own room and thus less distracted by a variety of people coming in to chat, to grab coffee, to find a book.
The Rubicon thing – not so much. It’s our curriculum-mapping site. I’m not a huge fan of it. The theory is great! I wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be consistency in what is taught from year to year even if the same teacher is not there. However, the site itself is laborsome to use and a quick click to the next page without saving can cause heaps of frustration.
But on to the best part of this year – reading books that will enhance my teaching. What a year it has been. I decided to keep a record of everything that I read this year. It’s a simple list on my netvibes page. I am proud to say that as of 12:01 pm this afternoon (December 31, 2009), I met my 2009 goal of reading 45 books. Now, to be perfectly honest, I only set this goal for myself on November 1 when I was already at 33 books for the year. But with 33 books in 10 months and another 12 to read by the end of the year, I was really going to be pushing myself.
The books I’ve read this year have varied greatly. Breaking it down a bit:
28 – Young Adult novels to help recommend and steer my Grade 7 students to some good reads.
5 – Re-reads. It’s amazing how books change in the years between reading them. I found that of my adult re-reads, I didn’t like the books nearly as much as I had the first time around.
4 – Professional development books. None of them were dry, straight information! I will be recommending all of them to others.
1 – From a genre that I gave up reading about 10 years ago – Christian Fiction. I found the book to be fairly predictable. It’s easy to see how I raced through those books before.
If I had to choose my best book of 2009, I would probably choose The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. This book has changed my life and my teaching. It’s pushed me to read and it’s pushed me to change how my Grade 7 class approaches reading. And I think it’s pushing me to change how I approach reading in my Grade 12 classes too.
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins would definitely be my 2nd and 3rd place contenders.
I am so excited about 2010! I cannot wait to see what’s in store for me, my students, and my learning community.
Happy New Year!