There’s something exhilarating about starting another school year. New faces; new challenges; and, most of all, new opportunities. I feel this sense of exhilaration in a heightened way, as I kick off a new year in a new district. It’s great to be a Go-Hawk!
I decided to extend the new year theme and introduced myself to our teachers today through my new year’s resolutions. I’ll be the first to admit that professional development has some hypocritical tendencies. Sometimes our “walk” strays a bit from our “talk.” So today, I make the following PD promises:
I promise to keep learning at the forefront.
It’s so easy to get distracted by the latest feel-good program or initiative that we sometimes forget that what really matters is the quality of our students’ learning. We must be clear about what we want to students to learn, and we must be sure that our outcomes match that intent.
I promise to value and capitalize upon the expertise in each person.
While I haven’t yet met all of our teachers, I’ve seen overwhelming evidence in those I have met that we are a group of knowledgeable, highly capable educators. However, we can’t just close our doors and do the right thing. Our growth and success depends upon a culture of collaboration and mutual responsibility.
I promise to meet people where they are.
I want to get to know every one of our teachers. They each have unique and critical roles to play in our collective work. I will make time to be in their classrooms. I want to know their strengths and passions. I want to understand their immediate questions and help them find timely answers.
I promise to act.
We spend too much time admiring our problems in education. There is a lot of talk—and not nearly enough action. We can’t wait for other people to save us from ourselves. I haven’t been the first, nor will I be the last person to say it, but we are the ones we have been waiting for. It’s true. There are steps each of us can take every day to make steadfast progress toward our goals.