First week of the 2015-2016 year is now complete. It has been both physically and emotionally draining these past three days. Every year, starting with a new set of students, can be daunting. You put so much time and energy into building and maintaining those relationships and then you have to start all over again. Please do not take this as a complaint, it’s not, more of a statement which I believe. It takes a lot up front to try and connect with my students, to find that commonality, that thing that will allow you to help reach them. I totally understand and accept this challenge as I know the rewards that come once you make that connection with the students.

So, I am going to just share a few thoughts from my first three days:

  1. One of my goals this year is to help my students ask more and better questions. To that end, I have been showing my students a video each day from the Sick Science Series by Steve Spangler. We watch the video, usually less than 2 minutes, try to develop an explanation, talk it over with a shoulder partner and then with the class. Our next step is to watch it again and develop a testable question based on what they watched. The plan is to keep using these on a relatively regular basis for the near future. I plan to start to work on other skills within this time frame but for now, this will work.
  2. Another goal is to get my students to take a more positive mindset approach, that growth mindset. We have watched a short motivational video, talked about goal setting and had discussions about being willing to share your thoughts/ideas with the class. This goal will take the year but I feel is a very worthwhile endeavor.
  3. I have some very fantastic students. I have had to have some discussions with a couple students about behavior and in each case, both of the students later in class came up to me and apologized for their behavior. That was fantastic and I told them that took guts to come up, apologize to me and that I was proud of them for taking that initiative.
  4. I was able to fulfill a professional goal of mine. Wednesday I was able to be a co-presenter on a NSTA webinar put together by Achieve over the recently released Evidence Statements. That was an extraordinary experience to say the least. I was super nervous and hope I didn’t screw up! Once it was done, I was able to sit back and go, wow, that was cool.
  5. My colleagues and I have been sharing information about how to try and help our students be successful this year. I love the teamwork and professionalism of the folks I work with at my school!
  6. I can’t think of a job that I would rather do. I feel I am in the right spot, doing what I was meant to do.
  7. There is so much more work to be done in my room, my school and my district in regards to NGSS implementation. That idea may frighten some but it makes me excited! I look forward to the collaboration and tough conversations.

Well that has been my first three days. If you have started, I hope everything is going well for you. If you have not started yet, good luck and enjoy.