Experiment: Using Google Calendar to Hold Us Accountable on Goals

You know the feeling: you participate in some great professional development, you attend a thought-provoking conference. You generate ideas and you set goals for yourself. Then you go back to school on Monday, and the tidal wave of Stuff To Do overwhelms all your good intentions.

This summer I facilitated a professional development group on ISTE’s Essential Conditions as they relate to our school. We came up with some awesome long- and short-term goals. I’m trying something new to help keep us on track with those goals.

Using Google Calendar, I set myself periodic reminders, and enabled an email notification so I’m extra-sure I don’t miss them. I asked each group member to write out their goals within the time frame of the next year, so in each reminder’s description area I put a narrative of where we should all be in our goals at that point.

I’m hoping that this external reminder will give me the little jolt I need to hold myself and the other group members accountable for those goals we made. I’ll let you know how things are going when I get the first reminder!

Quick thought: what works in public schools?

 As an independent school teacher, I’m often grateful that I don’t have to deal with the bureaucracy and brokenness of public school.
Lately though, I’ve been wondering about the parts of public schools that do work, and how I can export some of those elements to my own practice.

I know I don’t want grades, but there’s something to be said for accountability that goes beyond pass/fail. I know I want students to be engaged and hands-on learners, but there’s something to be said for learning how to listen to a lecture and take notes. Being an independent school gives me the freedom to do things completely differently from “traditional” school – but does that mean I should, all the time? 

Balance is key, of course.  But this quick thought is one I’m going to carry with me planning for the fall.

photo credit: I, Timmy via photo pin cc