As one academic year ends and another begins, I like to reflect and set goals. Like every summer, I have outlined ten priorities for next year. Many of them relate to my new role, so I should explain it first.
For the first time in my career, I will be working out of class and off timetable. As Innovation Lead, I will work closely with grade teams and specialists to promote all things STEM, with a particular school-wide focus on design thinking. I will also teach some MYP Design secondary classes and continue my consulting work with our feeder kindergarten. These are all very new experiences for me that I’m really excited about!
As I prepare to start a brand new academic year, here are ten aims that come to mind (shoutout to Fred Yue and John Hendrickse with whom I’ll work closely on many of these):
Build a culture of STEM and design thinking
As mentioned, design thinking is a major focus for our school this year. I will work with individuals and grades to support its planning and implementation. But beyond that, I’d like to cultivate STEM in a much broader sense. In recent years, I have developed a passion for hands-on learning, creativity and maker-centred learning. My aim is to work across school to promote these rich learning experiences and support my colleagues in whatever ways I can.
Familiarise myself with the Middle Years Program (MYP)
This will be my first time teaching in MYP, so I’m currently undertaking online training, specifically on MYP Design. I look forward to teaching these classes, broadening my teaching experience and engaging more with secondary colleagues and students. I have a lot to learn but I’m excited to put the training into action.
Build on my consulting experience
I have recently dipped my toe into consulting, something that I have very much enjoyed so far! I am only at the beginning of this journey but there is more to come. I look forward to these opportunities to make a difference beyond my school context and develop this area of my practice. There are more updates on the way, so watch this space!
Gain more experience teaching younger students
I’m about to enter my eleventh year of teaching. In all of those years, I have never taught students younger than Year 3. My new role will involve working with all grades, and my consulting to date has been with kindergarten teachers and students. I will take these opportunities to gain experience with younger students and learn as much as possible from my K-2 colleagues.
Upskill in coding
My new role will involve exciting coding projects, especially in MYP Design. My coding ability is decent enough but there’s certainly room for improvement. My goal is to take courses, follow online tutorials and learn as much as possible from those around me (students as well as teachers). And, of course, just keep playing and exploring!
Implement iTime across more classes
In case you missed my previous blog post, I have recently undertaken workshops with Kath Murdoch about iTime. More than ever before, I feel passionate about these learning experiences and more confident in how to implement them. I will support interested teachers to make a success of these highly engaging and beneficial personal inquiries.
Apply to the Apple Distinguished Educator Program
The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that this was also one of my goals last year. As soon as I published my 2020-21 aims, I was informed that the program was put on hold due to the pandemic. Hopefully it will reopen soon because I’d love to apply! I continue to be inspired by ADEs and Apple products that promote deep learning and creativity.
Work towards Google for Education Certified Coach
Until now, I haven’t paid much attention to this new Google certification because it didn’t apply to me. The Certified Coach program is aimed at instructional coaches who work 1:1 with colleagues. With my new role, it is now applicable. I have heard great things about the Certified Coach curriculum and the positive impact that the tools and strategies have. I look forward to learning more!
Further develop intercultural understanding
Earlier this year, I took part in a fascinating workshop from the Council of International Schools (CIS) on intercultural understanding. As a school leadership team, we analysed survey data, reflected on our practices and set goals. Next year, I will work with a committee to consider how we can move our school even further along the continuum towards an intercultural mindset. Imagine if more organisations prioritised this!
Promote digital leadership across all age groups
One of my passions in education is to develop the next generation of digital leaders, people who use the internet – especially social media – to make a positive difference in the world. This includes principles of digital citizenship but takes it further. In my new role working across school, I have more opportunities to promote this. In particular, I look forward to guiding students who are old enough to use social media independently. This presents new and exciting opportunities for digital leadership!
As always, I will keep my blog and social media pages up to date with any progress towards these goals. Thank you for supporting my blog this academic year and I wish you all the best for the next one!
To receive blog updates, find the ‘Follow’ icon (below or in the sidebar) or connect with me using the social icons at the top of this page.
Inspiring stuff Adam. Can’t wait to see you make progress towards these goals.
Your classroom will be my go-to place for fun and exciting learning experiences! I look forward to working closely with you (beyond English immersion!).
Enjoy the last day of the break!