Goals for a New Year - Josh Stumpenhorst
As many of us approach the New Year we often reflect on the past year and set goals. We call these New Year’s resolutions but I think they are the same as goals. This is my list of goals for the upcoming year and I feel like posting them might help make me stick to them… and I hope my PLN will keep me honest!

1 – I will get more people on Twitter

I have written about Twitter in past blogs and how powerful of a tool I think it is. In 2011, I want to convince more of my colleagues to be a part of the collaboration and learning that I know is a crucial part in my professional development.

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The Growth Mindset - Mary Rice-Boothe

The Growth Mindset
There’s an assumption that schools are for students’ learning. Well, why aren’t they just as much for teachers’ learning?” –Professor Seymour Sarason in Mindset:The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

I left the NYC Department of Education in order to become a better educator. After years of being a principal, I felt stifled and constricted. I had lost the feeling of being innovative which I cherished while teaching. Now, everyday I’m interacting with a different educator in a different location and I’m growing everyday. 



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Recognition in the New Year - Terence Ayres
In 1993 when I first became a school governor at a UK state school I like most of the general public thought teachers had a pretty easy time, short days and long holidays. It did not take me long to understand how wrong I was.

The school which I serve as Chair of governors is a small primary in one of the most deprived inner city areas in the UK was one described by a national newspaper as a 'Disgrace', that was in the dark ages of the 1990s, to day that same school is ranked one of the most successful in the UK. That success is due to a head teacher who is anonymous yet his record makes him one of the best and a team of teachers and support staff, whose talent, commitment and dedication to providing quality education for children whose need is greatest, are as good as it gets. They are a team in every sense of the word - go into the staff room and one could not tell who is a teacher, classroom assistant and even a governor - anyone who as worked education in an inner city area, be it New York or my own city of Leeds, will understand the expression 'Survival is about US not ME'.

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My Thoughts - Maggie Hos-McGrane

This year at school there has been an attempt to tie the professional development programme in with improved student learning - this is being done by helping staff to achieve appropriate professional goals which in turn will help students and teachers achieve their full potential. We start with a preliminary goal setting meeting and then have further discussions throughout the year to reflect upon our classroom practice.

Because last year was my first year at the school, I was given a formal appraisal - now I'm in the part of the cycle where I'm involved in ongoing goal setting and professional development. This year, after quite a bit of thought, I decided I wanted to explore the 7 Visible Thinking core routines and to make more use of the Project Zero throughlines. Last year I had these throughlines written up and displayed in the lab, but I have to admit that I didn't refer to them with the students very much. This year I am trying to refer to these a lot more with the 3rd through 5th Graders who actually use that lab.


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A Year of Firsts - Henrietta Miller
As my school year draws closer to the end, I have been reflecting on what an amazing year of firsts it has been for me.

My first year of blogging. I started this blog back in January with my first post wondering if I could keep this blogging lark going. The number of half written never posted musings is testament to the fact that I have the ideas, but never the time. It was in my second post that I challenged myself to use 2010 as my year of becoming a connected teacher.
As part of this challenge I started my first class blog year5rc, so that my class could become connected too.

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Education Needs Reflective Educators - Blog 4 Edu - Shelly Terrell and Greta Sandler
Our Vision
In blogging for education reform, we have collaborated together on an initiative we believe represents what education needs, bloggers for education! The project is Blog 4 Edu (The Blogging for Education project), a Twitter account (@Blog4Edu), wiki, and Facebook page to help support bloggers, blogging projects, and blogging challenges. Our vision is to persuade as many educational stakeholders worldwide to blog as possible.

Why Blog 4 Edu?
We suggest that blogging and social media are two of the main components of improving education worldwide. This won’t fix everything in education but through blogging we can open the conversation to the possibilities. When we blog we open the conversation to all education stakeholders (the public, parents, students, administrators, and educators). We automatically get an audience for our message even if it initially consists of one. Eventually, we share our message and reach someone who joins the conversation of how to improve education worldwide. This conversation continues for as long as we participate in the conversation.

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Happy New Year! - Linda Dunnavant
Happy New Year! I decided to create a tag cloud using Tagxedo to see what I have been trying to say with this blog in 2010. 


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January #ProjectPLN Contributors
Project PLN couldn't happen without our wonderful contributors, thank you to:


Editors:
The Generation M Manifesto - Umair Haque

Dear Old People Who Run the World,

My generation would like to break up with you.

Everyday, I see a widening gap in how you and we understand the world — and what we want from it. I think we have irreconcilable differences.

You wanted big, fat, lazy "business." We want small, responsive, micro-scale commerce.

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My Goals - Dr. Robert Dillon
Subtlety hasn't been on the tongues of many in the educational debate in 2010. It has been a year of transformational, systemic, nation-wide, and Superman. My hope for 2011, which can be found embedded in my goals, is a renewed sense that subtlety can leverage individual learning and understanding for kids.

Goal 1: Look for ways to extend meaningful learning beyond the last day of May.
I'm blessed to work in a 1:1 environment. I believe that we are still the only public middle school in Missouri that has this technology advantage. It is truly a blessing for our kids, 50% of whom receive free and reduced lunch. It opens doors to passions, communication, and opportunity.We are still working everyday to leverage the power of the 1:1 environment. This was the first winter break that we sent the computers home over the break. I'm hoping that we get positive feedback from family, teachers, and the technology crew. This could pave the way for crafting some summer learning opportunities where students would work at home with the facilitation of one of our teachers. We are looking at opportunities like this in all subject areas that tap into student interests and continue thinking throughout the summer.

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You can take the teacher out of a school... - Nicole Martin
You can take the teacher out of a school, but you can’t take the school out of a teacher… -

You can take a team of teachers out of school for the day, but that doesn’t stop them from doing what they do best: discussing teaching. In fact, perhaps off-site planning meetings are the best way to foster creativity without boundaries, higher-quality ideas, increased collaboration, and ultimately enhanced classrooms- all for the benefit of the students.

Today a grade level team sat around my kitchen table and reviewed their grade level’s curriculum based on a set of skills-based standards. What could have been a quick just-say-we-do-it-and-let’s-move-on type of experience was in fact something much more thrilling: a day of ideas. Good ones, bad ones, expensive ones, impossible ones. But they were flowing freely, and they were presented without restraint.

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No Us vs.Them. Just Us. - Cale Birk

 



As it is 2011 and it is the time for New Year's Resolutions. While I may have a few other resolutions like eating less red meat and limiting my consumption of ice cream (I would say "eliminating", but it's ice cream...come on), I also have an educational resolution that I hope to follow through upon, and I hope that others will to. I want to get rid of the "us versus them" on every level of education.

You know what I mean. Teachers versus their Principals and Vice Principals. The school versus the board office. The parents versus the school. The community versus the trustees. The students versus the teachers. Elementary versus Secondary. K-12 versus post-secondary. All of these adversarial relationships MUST go. None of them are productive, and even when they are said in jest, they still leave a bitter taste in peoples' mouths, and evoke memories of stereotypical relationships that were likely very strained at some point in time.


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No Resolutions - Amanda C Dykes
So it’s 2011. One day back to school and already wondering if this year could be bad. It’s been “one of those days.” Not a good way to start. So new year usually means resolutions. If you read my last post you know I’m having problems with failure lately. So the idea of setting myself up for failure AGAIN makes me laugh. No way. I’ve decided to set goals instead. Small goals. More like things to keep myself on track not as much to achieve anything. I’m hoping putting them in writing helps remind me of them. I’m setting my calendar to alarm & remind me of them on occasion. Here goes:

1. edcampbham. I am determined to make this a success. I have a great team I am working with on this. So far almost 50 have registered & we haven’t started advertising beyond twitter yet. By the way if you are interested, it is April 30. More info can be found at http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/edcamp+Bham (shameless plug!)


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Grant Writing and YOU, a Winning Combination - Peggy James

As we enter the new calendar year, teachers at the midpoint of the school year are dreaming up ways to improve their teaching to make their classrooms even better during the second semester. By January, we have gotten to know our students and their learning habits really well, and we are learning what works best with each group. With this knowledge, we can come up with some great ideas to bring in the classroom, but many of these ideas will never be able to come to fruition without funding. Our posts this week are focusing on an important issue for teachers during tough economic times: how to get more money for your classroom.

Many of our posts here on The Gateway focus on doing more with less. We want to help you bring new tools and ideas into your teaching without spending any extra money. Most of the resources catalogued on site and the recommendations in our columns and on our Facebook and Twitter sites can be used free of charge. As you try these resources in your class and begin to collaborate with other educators, you might start thinking of even bigger ideas to implement. Some of these ideas will require money, which can be hard to come by sometimes.


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#ProjectPLN Mission Statement
You've seen the crazy videos, you've heard the chatter on Twitter, you might be asking yourself, what is this Project PLN and why are we doing it? Teaching can be a lonely profession in some schools. You teach all day in your classroom and enjoy brief encounters with colleagues in the teachers lounge or passing quickly in the hallway. There isn't a lot of time to have a meaningful conversation about education and learning. Project PLN aims to connect educators.

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