A Very Few Teaching Resolutions for 2014

2014goals2013 was a busy year for me as a teacher.

During that period I taught 5 different courses, 2 different grade levels, and about 200 students. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a teacher and, since not teaching a common-core-affected subject in the latter half of 2013, am enjoying the business considerably more. But this post isn’t about the past. Here’s my very short list of what I hope for 2014 as a teacher.

1) Develop teaching materials: I hope to compile a substantial stock of legal opinions and briefs to supplement my curricular units for the Criminal and Constitutional Law classes I teacher. In this way, I will be editing my own textbook for students to use and the text will be completely aligned to my curriculum map. With careful planning and a summer to work on it, I should be able to get this ready to go for next school year, at least in draft form. I also hope to fully develop weekly homework assignments for the entire school year to help students engage more meaningfully in academic material at home with family members.

2) Spend more time talking to my seniors about life after high school: This year is my first year teaching seniors, and while I gladly wrote dozens of letters of recommendations for great students, I didn’t do enough to offer myself to students who needed personal guidance or just someone to listen to them as they make difficult choices regarding college or the world of work. Next year and what’s left of this year, I will be more prepared to take on that role.

3) Take my students on more field trips: Field trips, while stressful to plan, have provided my students (and me) with some of the most memorable experiences at school. I have learned more about my kids, their interests, their personalities, on field trips than at any time in the classroom. Additionally, field trips always help to remind me how grown up my students are and how impressed I should be with their ability to act like very professional young men and women when we venture off campus.

This is not nearly so ambitious that I can’t accomplish everything on this very shot list, particularly if I am able to keep some consistency in my teaching assignments. My students will benefit and I will benefit, and together it should be a pretty good 2014.

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