Sun, beach, parks, bike rides, scooter rides, day trips, friends, family, walks, waves, drinks, BBQ. All things that I have spent my summer doing. In our profession this is the time of year that we really get to unwind and have a rest.
It is a time to reflect on the other important things that are in our lives. Family. My wife and I have spent this time with our three kids. Teaching them the important lessons, riding bikes, swimming, taking the time to read the history of a place or talk to the owners of the cafes that we visit. I am always teaching, training or educating, I just cannot help it. There is a lesson in everything and my 5 year old son, who is starting school this year, is so curious about this amazing world that he is growing up in.
This holidays has again encouraged me to see the fun and excitement in learning. There is a lesson in everything and everything can be a learning experience. The more natural and enquiry based the better. The more it will be remembered, the more it will be transferred into usable skills and the more context the lesson will have.
Enjoying the journey of growth and development as a father and an educator is fantastic. Having three kids is allowing me to see how much of their development is nature and how much nurture. It has been great to have the time to spend with these guys, real quality and quantity time.
My personal goals and challenges for 2016 can be compartmentalised. As an educator, my kids have encouraged me to look at how I can continue to make my lessons fun and engaging for my class. How I can harness the natural childhood love of enquiry to allow my students to gain 1 year of growth for the 1 year in my class. This follows the ideas put forward by Simon Breakspear and John Hattie, leading thinkers of education reform, and Andrew Taylor, the principal at The Kilmore International School; "...that every student deserves a year's growth in learning for a year's input of teaching, and this cannot happen when students are distracted of misbehaving."
Aristotle said "We are what we repeated do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit"
With these two thoughts in mind, one of my goals for 2016 will be; to instil the habit of excellence in my students and in my teaching!
What are some things that you want to achieve?