New Year, New Journey

Flickr CC photo by mira66

Flickr CC photo by mira66

My formal education is finished (convocation is in March) and I will be starting two new jobs next week, but as an avid life-long learner this TL is still ‘under construction’. I expect 2011 to bring on many opportunities to grow and experience and in order to get the maximum benefit from those experiences I have resolved to┬áset professional learning goals for myself. There are of course many web tools that will help you to set goals and stay on track. The one that I’ve used for personal goals and will now use for professional ones as well is 43 Things. In it you can:

  • set yearly resolutions
  • set long-term goals
  • set up email reminders to yourself to motivate progress
  • write entries and include pictures about your goals (and post to blog, facebook, twitter)
  • receive comments
  • follow others (friends or people with common goals)
  • send motivational ‘cheers’ to people as they mark goals or make progress

Both fun and motivating! You can look me up, I’ve opened up a new account for my professional goals as catinthelibrary. All the best for 2011 and for obtaining your professional goals.

Hope’s sister, Faith

Like a Siamese twin Faith must come with Hope. Sergiovanni (2005) defines faith as the set of assumptions people make when they have hope in something. And he points out that our faith/assumptions will suggest pathways to be taken.

Individuals with high hope possess goals, find pathways to these goals, navigate around obstacles, and develop agency to reach their goals (McDermott, Pedrotti, Edwards, and Houske, as cited in Sergiovanni, 2005, p. 81).

So here’s something I have faith in (a project I’ve begun work on at school) —

  • the more children read or are read to, the better readers they will become

What is my Goal —

  • to turn every one of the children at our school into a ‘reader’; each student, a child who enjoys books and stories no matter what their literacy level is.

What are my pathways?

  • I’m working from the lower end of the school up. A large amount of good stories and books (fiction and non-fiction) are needed to hook students from Prep and build on their love of reading from there.
  • I’m working with the Prep teacher Wendy to start on a Power Readers book bag system as suggested by David Loertscher.
  • I’m going to talk to the parents of the Preps, along with their teacher. We’ll talk to them about the importance of reading, we’ll spell out the book bag program, we’ll pass on the information from Mem Fox’s website and Steven Krashen’s studies.
  • I’m going to excite the kids by showing them new acquisitions on a regular basis, by listening to what they want to read and following up with requests quickly. I’ll continue to read and talk about books with them when they come to their weekly library session.

What are the obstacles?

  • budget restraints (I’ll make picture books one of my collection development priorities in next years budget and try to get the parent support group on board)
  • parents who don’t have time/inclination to read to their children (education, constant reinforcement needed, make it matter to them)

How will I measure my efficacy?

  • books are being taken out by the child on a regular basis on their card
  • I see them reading a book in ‘library’ time on a regular basis (photos for reference?)
  • anecdotal evidence from teacher/parent – follow up on class meeting nights.
  • student developmental reports done by the classroom teacher.

I’ll keep you posted about how it all goes.

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Sergiovanni, T. (2005). Hope, Trust, Community, Other Virtues. In Strengthening the heartbeat: Leading and learning together in schools (pp. 75-100). San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.