By: Jennifer Amburgy
I have had several experiences and conversations over the last few weeks that have made me thankful for the phrase “It’s a new day!” Sometimes in our jobs and in our personal lives we get stuck in a rut and say, “I’ll do it differently the next time I’m in this situation,” or “I’ll change my ways next year/month.” Do we need to wait that long to make a change and make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others?
I am an educational leader, and I have seen numerous teachers look at their current classroom situation (including myself when I had a homeroom), and decide on a Friday to make a change, and by Monday their classroom environment is a new room with vitalization and purpose!
Classroom management not working like you had hoped? No need to wait until you get a new group of students the following year to implement a new management system and organize your classroom in a way to limit distractions during whole group and small groups…do it now! Do your lessons feel boring to you (imagine how your students feel if you are bored)? Don’t wait until the next semester or year to find ways to engage your students while also covering the CCGPS…do it now! Have you wanted to implement guided reading and/or math groups into your lessons but are scared how to start? You can easily lower your student:teacher ratio with just 2-3 groups to get you started…do it now! Tired of doing things the same way year after year because that’s how it’s always been done? Don’t wait until next year to break the mold…do it now!
Earlier this month I went with a few teachers to the Georgia Educational Technology Conference (GaETC) and we saw numerous ways to integrate technology into lessons. This was my third time to the conference, but I found myself watching others at the conference almost as much as I was watching/listening to the presenters. These first-time participants were so eager to learn ways to embed technology into their lessons, not simply for the sake of using technology, but to give their students experiences/connections with the content that would not be possible without the technological tools. These teachers were taking notes, tweeting tips to others not able to attend the conference using the hashtag #GaETC13, using the hashtag themselves to follow sessions they were not able to attend, and collaborating with strangers in the building on ways to connect their classrooms to take their students’ learning environments outside of their 4 walls in their building. Do you think these teachers are going to wait until next school year to try these tools and tips they learned about at this conference? I know the teachers in my school building that went were implementing changes the next Monday in their classroom. I bet they even wished we had school over the weekend so they could have implemented the changes the very next day!
Why wait to implement a change when you have identified something that needs changed and you have an idea of how to change it? Sure, there are natural breaks in the school year, like quarters, semesters, and school years, but Mondays are also a natural break to implement something new in your classroom as well. What will you do differently in your classroom on Monday? After all, it’s a new day!