Q: How do I Implement Everything I Learned this Summer into this School Year?
A: You don't
I know some of you probably had to re-read that a couple of times. You were most likely thinking this lady is crazy. I bet you are thinking- I learned so many new tips and tricks this summer, and I am going to do it all this school year. My school year is going to be amazing.
Maybe you want to try to do math warm-ups with GIFs this school year?
Maybe you want to re-arrange your library by genres this year?
Maybe you have a total new classroom management idea?
Maybe you have a new reward system to keep your students on task?
Maybe you are going to try out book snaps this year in your class readings?
Maybe you are going to try and spruce up your presentations with interactive Nearpod presentations?
Maybe you are going to make your learning more engaging with games in the classroom?
Maybe you are going to review with augmented reality?
Trust me, I feel the same way. I went to conferences over the summer, I read several books, and I read Twitter daily. I have discovered new ways to implement technology into the classroom, and I have learned about some pretty neat tools that will definitely rock a teacher's world. This happens every time I attend professional development. I have so many cool ideas floating in my head, and I am ready to conquer the world. I want to implement them ALL into the coming school year. It is actually pretty stressful because I am trying to remember everything I learned. Also, I am thinking how am I going to do all of this?
After talking to one of my all time mentors and my boss, her answer was simple and clear- You don't implement it all. You take one or two ideas, and you focus on those new ideas, and you implement it WELL. It is all about the quality and not the quantity.
I want to change the world and try all these new ideas out, but I need to focus on doing these new ideas correctly. My advice to you is don't try and implement every single idea this coming school year. It is too stressful and time consuming to implement ALL ideas. Find the ones you really want to focus in on and do those WELL. You will be less stressed and more satisfied with your outcome.
1. Write down everything you learned that you want to someday implement or try (I prefer writing this in a Google Doc or Google Keep, so I know it will never get deleted. However, my sister reminded me the other day that not everyone enjoys digital like me, and sometimes old school writing a list with a pen and paper is the way to go).
2. Highlight the one or two ideas you want to try. Maybe it is a new seating arrangement each six weeks, maybe it is a new turn in assignments idea, or maybe it is a new online journal idea?
3. Figure out a schedule. Do you want this to be implemented over the whole school year? Do you want one idea to be focused in the fall and one idea to be focused in the spring? Do you want each grading period to be a new way?
4. Plan out how you want this idea to work. What is your goal? What are you trying to accomplish?
5. Do it! Oh, and do it WELL (don't half-way do it; put 100% into making it work).
*The best part is after this school year, I can go back to my original list on my Google Doc or Google Keep and I can pick another idea to try out next school year.
*Disclaimer- If you do well with implementing something and don't feel stressed, then go ahead and try one more new idea the next six weeks or grading period or semester. The important thing is not to stress yourself out with trying a whole bunch of new ideas at once. You want it to be beneficial to your students. If it is beneficial to your students, keep on trucking!