A quote I heard from a friend but have no idea who to credit for, which I use all the time is
“What you value, you dedicate time and resources to”
I mostly use it to call out current practices, and call attention to not backing up what we say with the actions necessary to truly show our support. As I sat down to write my professional growth plan reflection for 2013-2014, I found another instance where this quote applies.
I had two goals for this school year, one was to put together and facilitate a group of teachers to take a long hard look at our practices when it comes to mathematical instruction, and to come up with a long term plan and solution to improve said instruction. The other goal was to work to spend more time in classrooms, observing and working with teachers, to do some informal observations of our teachers on temporary contracts and to work on my role as an instructional leader.
I was unable to achieve either.
Add to that I never once participated in the School Admin Virtual Mentor Program (#SAVMP) which I signed up for, and was assigned a fantastic mentor in Jason Markey, who could have helped me in my professional growth immensely. And add to that I blogged considerably less this year, spent less time on twitter, and lost touch with a great deal of my PLN.
Don’t get me wrong, I got a lot done, and a lot of my year was fantastic, but now as the year comes to a close, and I reflect on goals for my year that were supposed to be a priority, I realize I lost track of what was supposed to be my focus. As I fumble through this post, I can physically sense the loss of connection to something that was so dear to me and important in my professional learning.
So while I am quick to call others on saying one thing and then not backing it up with what it takes to make it a reality, it is only fair I call myself on the same behavior. What I supposedly valued I didn’t dedicate time or resources to. There was always something else to do, some excuse like being tired or busy, or even justifications like doing what was needed at the time. I did nothing to place any type of deadlines for myself. I created no reminders, no string around my finger, to keep myself on task. I failed miserably and did nothing to improve my chances for success.
So when it comes to my growth plan, and my reflection as a professional on my learning, I can truly say I learned a lot. I learned from what I failed to complete, from what I didn’t focus on, and what I must have hoped would just happen on its own. I learned that nothing I want to make happen will in fact come to be if I don’t dedicate my time and my resources to these goals. I learned from the way I feel staring at the document, that I WILL NOT again put down a goal (or two) without being sure I am committed to making it a reality.
While this wasn’t my intended learning, it will no doubt be valuable, and when I sit down to write next year’s plan, it will include at least one of my goals AGAIN, only this time I hope it also includes some conviction behind the words.