Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I absolutely love my job! (aka Best Science Teacher Annual Goal...Ever!)

Like many professions, each year teachers create professional goals that they would like to accomplish for the year. Establishing these goals is meant to spur the development of a set of professional skills. Periodically throughout the year, teachers meet with supervisors to discuss progress on the goals and to collaboratively problem-solve any items that are hindering accomplishing of the goals.

Last year at my final 'goal progress' meeting, I met with other teachers to discuss our goals and talk about ideas for goals for the present school year.  I had the BEST idea for a goal...it was the kind of idea that makes you so excited to get started on accomplishing it!  What a way to love your job.

Here is what I wrote:
"Goal : To develop a thematic tradition in the middle school science classroom of “Celebrating Science” and to begin bringing that theme outward into the community. 
Steps I will take to achieve that goal:
  • To develop lessons, materials or events in science class that celebrate science.  For example: to create special thematic lab experiments and classroom decorations for Halloween; to organize events that celebrate the astronomical phenomena of the changing of the seasons, lunar or solar eclipses, milestones in science—like Newton’s birthday, or to further develop events like last year’s Periodic Table of the Cupcakes or the Cell Cake Project.
  • To build community awareness and anticipation of the events with the school newsletters, parent “awareness” email blasts and other media.
  • To guide middle school students to create ways of sharing the actual happening of the event with younger students in the school.  For example, by visiting the classes and sharing the Periodic Table Cupcakes with them after explaining what the project was all about and answering questions from the younger students."
This entire goal can translate from teacher-ese into English as:  "Spend your energy on how to have fun in science class!"

So this year, as I plan Halloween Science in the lab (Halloween falls on our extended-period lab day this year--Hooray!) I can have fun planning it...get really 'into it' and elaborate on it, develop it into something that excites even me!  All the while, I know I am working on accomplishing a professional goal that I set for myself which adds to my feeling of satisfaction about it.  

I will definitely post about my Halloween Science Day this year and other events...but not yet...some of my students and parents read this blog and I don't want to give anything away.  If you need some ideas, try this link to Science Bob's site of Halloween science demos.

By the way, a big shout-out to Liisa Petersen, who is one of the best science teachers I have EVER met, and an absolute pro at loving her job and having fun.  One thing that is on the list this year is to try to model her FLUGTAG event.


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