Resolve to be a Learner

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This time of year can be exciting, festive, and sometimes introspective.  For my family, Thanksgiving quickly transitions into Christmas, which leads to the celebration of the New Year. This year, I find myself thinking about all that’s happened in 2013, all that I’ve learned, the missteps I’ve taken, and where I am headed in 2014. As I think about my resolutions for this coming year, the usual personal goals are on my mind: take better care of myself, spend more time with my family, and be a better person. But, beyond these personal goals, I also have a professional goal I’d like to share with you. 

As an educator, I often talk about the need to teach children to become life-long learners; strong global citizens who know how to use the resources available to question the world around them, seek answers and share solutions. But, as an educator, do I model this stance? Am I a role model for life-long learning? My professional goal this coming year is to model life-long learning – to be the type of learner that I’d like our young people to be. My resolution is to be open to new ideas, to seek out answers to the challenges I see, and to work with others to find solutions.

You may be wondering, why I am writing about this on the FIP Your School blog? What does this have to do with FIP? Actually, a great deal. Formative instructional practices are about life-long learning. FIP is about figuring out where we are, where we want to go and how to best get there. FIP is not just about student learning, but about adult, professional learning as well. As educators, we need to model the learning behaviors that we want to cultivate in our students. We need to identify our own learning goals, take stock of what we do and don’t know, take ownership of our learning, and work to get where we want to be. I challenge you to use the tenets of formative instructional practices to guide your professional learning.  I challenge you to resolve to be a life-long learner, to reflect on your practice, and to set professional learning goals that matter. 

Next month I will write more about using the FIP resources to reach your professional goals and how to embed FIP into your Individual Professional Development Plan. This is a very interesting and challenging time to be an educator. We are faced with the challenge of implementing Ohio’s New Learning Standards and Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation System. Classrooms are changing. Schools are changing. Now, more than ever, it is important for us to all be life-long learners. 

Wishing you a Happy New Year! See you in 2014.