I honestly do try to be hip with pop culture, and I think “peepin'” is a thing, but I honestly have no idea. In my head I’m always cool, and I hope many can hang with me. (Am I using that right?!)
Goal setting is a groaner for almost everyone I work with. There is quite a bit of lip service, and a lot of discussion around goal-setting for students, but when it comes to adults, it seems that we set them and forget them. Or we set them without a ton of thought and then go on about business as usual.
After a lot of puppy-eyed begging this spring, I convinced my director to allow me to participate in the ISTE Trailblazer Academy, where I first really began to look at what my goal for blogging would be. Increasingly I felt that it wasn’t to impart wisdom, of which I don’t feel I had a lot, but to help others see what was right in front of them. This fall I still felt untethered, without a goal, and decided to join the Innovative Teaching Academy, and truly put myself into a state of action. I’d been talking around the idea of JOY for years – even after a failed attempt at explaining why joy is important in schools killed a previous blog, and settled on that as my goal. Sounds a bit far-fetched and nebulous, but finding and highlighting joy in education is where I feel called to go. Yes, called. I understand the implications of that particular verb.
The particulars of the goal will come later, but this post is about spying on myself and asking others to spy on me, because goals should be VISIBLE. Not just something that we put on paper to get through our goal-setting conference and forget about. Not something that sounds good to our administrator but really has no impact on our lives. Goals should be something that we think about daily. Goals should be the lens through which we make decisions in our classrooms, offices, and lives.
This hit home this last week in a kindergarten classroom. I was awed by the teacher who not only has taken the time to have a goal conference with every single one of her kindergarten students, but has now moved forward with making their goals visible in order to help them stay on track. She’s offering choices that they can make so that they can decide whether to work on their goal or not, and then to discuss how those choices have affected their goal progress. If kindergartners can do it, I can do it!
The first step in making my goal visible is to make it public. To talk about it. To share it. To highlight the things I’ve done to make progress toward the goal, and the things I’ve done that have moved me the wrong direction.
My goal is to find and highlight joy in classrooms. Not happiness. Not fun. Not success. Or not just these things. Joy isn’t always found in the positive. But joy is inherently positive. All of my definitions will come later. Right now I just want to get it out there. I’m looking for joy. I’m sharing the joy I find. I’m trying to promote joy. In classrooms, but also in life. Classrooms and life are the same, right?
I’m hashtagging it – #findjoy – to help me chronicle it. I’ll be posting it here. I’ll be hoping for a tribe that wants to find joy also. We can make education joyful for all!
I hope you will “peep” on me. I hope I will “peep” on myself. I need all eyes to help me stay on track – goal setting can’t be done in secret.