Illustrated by Sutthiya Lertyongphati
This week’s blog post is going to be rather concise and direct, so that I can publish it with adequate quality in the one-hour ‘window’ that I have.
It’s been an incredibly busy week for me. After completing my online IBDP Chemistry Category 2 course on Wednesday, it was straight on to discussions with Catherine (my book editor – she’s amazing!) on The Rogers’ Pedagogical Planner.
Maybe you are even reading this article in the planner right now? If you are, then thank you for your purchase and I really hope this planner has been useful for you!
For web-users, please read this exciting update here.
This planner promises to be more advanced and more useful than any other teacher’s planner out there and leads me nicely on to my first promise for 2019……..
I promise to push beyond mediocrity
I could have easily took a short trip to Pattaya, just up the road from Bangkok (where I currently work as a high school science teacher), and took the remaining two weeks of my holiday off.
Sunny beaches and the tastiest food the world can offer awaits me there.
I probably will find time for a short holiday before I go back to school, but in order to push myself beyond my body and mind’s natural tendency for mediocrity, I have had to impose the following duties upon myself
- To get my IB chemistry course finished (done)
- To annotate all of my Year 13 student coursework before I go back to school (this is going to save me many a rushed lesson and sleepless night upon my return)
- Get all of my requisitions done for the term ahead (i.e. ordering all of the chemicals and apparatus I need for my science lessons)
- Planning and resourcing all of my lessons for the first few weeks back
As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m not very popular in some circles of education.
I do not subscribe to the idea that a teacher’s holiday should be completely holiday time (now, please remember, I did say completely). When I go to school every day I like my lessons to run like well-oiled machines: everything ready; everything in place.
This saves me many a headache, and all it takes is a little bit of work in the holidays.
As part of this promise I also make a vow to push beyond mediocrity by:
- Always providing good feedback to my students
- Being on time, every time
- Making detailed notes in meetings, and always following through on commitments
- Preparing resources thoroughly
- Planning lessons properly
- Keeping the fact that, as a teacher, I’m a role-model to all of my students, in mind at all times. Keeping this thought in mind will allow for correct decision making when it comes to everyday activities.
- Reading-up, listening to audio-books and improving my game
How will you ‘push-beyond’ the natural tendency towards mediocrity that we are all plagued with, but very few ever acknowledge?
I promise to work productively with my colleagues
I work with one of the best teams I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. I’ve also reached an age where I recognize that:
- Gossip is the death of all productive colleague-colleague relationships. I will avoid gossip like I would infectious diseases, and I’ll be sure not to contribute whenever (if ever) I hear gossip.
- If I can help, then I will help. If I can’t, then I won’t. I’ve been guilty of falling into the ‘favor’ trap all too often in my professional career. “Richard, can I ask you a favor?”, to which I would automatically reply with “yes”. Sometimes my mouth would commit me to things I couldn’t do, and I would end up letting people down (and getting stressed out along the way). Now, when someone asks me “Richard, can I ask a favor?”, I politely respond with “It depends what it is”. I then proceed to assess whether or not I can actually do what I have been asked to do.
I’ve written before about how we can work productively with our colleagues, especially when dishing out ‘productive praise’ to our students (praise must be collective to be effective). Please read my article about that here.
What are your promises for the New Year?
I believe that we need ‘Professional Promises’ along with ‘Personal Promises’. If you could change anything about the way you teach or how you work at school, then what would go on your list?
Wishing all of my readers, fans and followers a very Merry Christmas and a successful and happy New Year!