A New Year/New Challenges

Happy New Year to one and all!

What I love most about this time of year is the natural optimism and hope that typically comes with the start of a new year. I enter 2012 with that sentiment and with some caution.Image

This is going to be a big year for the PBL program that myself and my compatriots helped design at our school. We are a year and a half in and with the blessings and support of our administration, we will be developing the future of our program and making important decisions in the next two months. I am hopeful and cautious about how we will proceed from here. We’ve seen success and we’ve seen setbacks; my hope is that the future of the program at our school stays bright and opens up fantastic opportunities for our students. The next two months should be an interesting journey, and I’ll be sure to keep you all keen on our progress.

The most important matter to address first, however, is preparing students for big stakes tests and allowing our students to increase their self-efficacy. We had our students complete a class and teacher evaluation at the end of the semester (this will be the future in public schools anyhow) and the feedback certainly sheds light on many of our students needs.

All that said here are some resolutions for my classroom:

1. Continue to work on my own patience. I have a tendency to become impatient with myself and my students at times when I don’t see expectations met. I’ve calmed down considerably, but I have to always keep in mind that the PBL environment is still such a new idea to most of them.

2. Increase the number of coffee chats. (Click here if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.) This is honestly to help a few students feel more comfortable with more difficult content that they are having a hard time seeing naturally in their projects.

3. Meet with students in small groups and as individuals more often. This will alleviate many of our concerns with a few students who do not use their in class time as wisely as they could.

4. My final resolution. Kick the next phase of The Studio into high gear and building the right foundations for its success.

Here’s looking forward to another great year.

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