With all the talk of new year's resolutions, it's also a good time to reflect on everything that happened in 2015 (my most-viewed blog posts from the year are here), particularly my chosen #OneWord theme for the year: JUMP.
This past year I wanted to:
- JUMP at the chance to go out on a limb and try things I've never tried before (and not balk at trying just because it was new to me);
- JUMP and reach higher, raising the bar on my work in the classroom;
- JUMP into the unknown and take risks with my students, like connecting with other classes and people around the world;
- JUMP into new opportunities, like sharing my learning at conferences or in workshops.
2015 was a phenomenal year. I was able to make good on my promise to JUMP more, and I'm not sure I'll be able to top it in 2016.
But as I keep trying new things, I find I want to change my focus slightly. I want to continue taking risks, but I'd like my students and I to get more out of what we try. In that vein, my #OneWord for 2016 will be: REFLECTION.
- Reflection on what's working well in my flipped classes. I've changed a lot of things in how I teach. Many ideas are working well. Some, I know, are not. There's always tweaking to be done, whether it's in delivery of content, choice of activities, or methods of engaging the students. How can I make my classroom an even better place to learn?
- Reflection on my practices and abilities. I'd like to get back into blogging on a regular basis, both on my successes and failures. I learn so much from others, and I want to give back and help others where I can.
- Reflection on what my students need - both what they say they need and my best guess as to what I think they'll need to succeed later in life. What is the right balance between digital and analog learning? How can I use both to help my students become better problem solvers, collaborators and communicators?
- Reflection for my students. I keep meaning to have my students self-reflect on their (best) practices in class and on the work they do outside of class time. This year part of my focus will be to engage them more in this reflection process, and help them make connections between what they do to learn and how well they learn.
- Reflection in the form of personal, quiet contemplation. I am hoping this will lead to a better balance between work and life. I started out the school year with a focus on mindfulness, and would like to return to that practice.
What is your #OneWord focus for the new year?