Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Goals - A 'Do-Over' Moment

image from Pixabay
One of the best parts of teaching was remaking myself and my classroom each and every year.  Every year was a complete "do over." It was a gift - to wipe the slate clean and build on what worked and try something different for the parts that didn't work.

I've always seen goals in that way - a 'do over' moment that I get to set for myself.Probably because of that I often have too many that I am working on.

Since my job has changed to a Technology Consultant - my goals have also shifted.
These are the big 3 -  the ones I am constantly working on.

image from Pixabay
I have described my knowledge as one centimeter thick and about 100 miles wide.  That broad view leads to some pretty embarrassing digital hoarding!  I talked about that here and have admitted this fact on several occasions.

For me, the problem with digital hoarding is the lack of focus. I am constantly trying to find the next best thing - rather than going deeper in the tools and practices that are already at hand.

Focus funnels my task - to the exact point of need.
Focus reminds me of the actual task rather than the myriad of possibilities!

Years ago I had a principal (the one I wrote about here) tell me that what elementary parents really want is to know that the classroom teacher likes their child.  The conversation may start with curriculum or homework concerns, but what it usually boils down to is the fact that they are concerned that the teacher doesn't like their child. I also wrote a blog post about relationship building that I learned from my cooperating teacher at the very beginning of my teaching career.

Relationships look a little different when we are working with adults.  Teachers are busy - they don't have time to really connect with this consultant who swoops in to their building every couple of months.  So how do I build a relationship there?

I remember.
I remember what it felt like to be a overly-busy, crazed teacher and have that consultant who had all the time in the world swoop in and tell me what I was doing wrong - or what new thing I had no time to work on.
I remember that overwhelming feeling when that email with 10 tech tips appear in my mailbox - and I know I should look at it but I have only one break in the morning with 1000 things to accomplish.
I remember how excited I was when I went to a technology conference and was able to rub elbows with the 'experts' and bask in their knowledge. And have them seem a bit too aloof or busy to answer my lowly beginner question.

Relationships are built in tiny fragments and they start with listening and remembering!

This is a goal that I am very excited about!  In order for me to do my job organization must be at the very center - organization of my time, my resources, my to-do list, me.

This December I discovered Bullet Journals. This has made a HUGE difference for me.  A bullet journal is a method of creating daily and weekly lists as well as collections - a list of like items.  I am a list maker - and I have dallied with lots of different types of to-do lists including both digital and analogue versions.  Bullet Journaling is working for me - because I need to be able to have my list right in front of me as I work. I LOVE to X off the daily items and have yesterday's list so I can refer back to that.  The collections have become my go to lists of projects that I am working on. Every page is numbered so you can refer to other pages in your lists.

The other tool I use to keep myself sane is my Google Calendar.  I use one calendar that is shared with my team for all my work items and then I created a personal calendar of another color that is not shared.  It appears on the same calendar. This keeps all my items in one place at the same time.

My final organization piece has to do with my digital hoarding!  I have a dual system of bookmarking.  One is a folder on my Chrome bookmark bar that is called check - I bookmark items I run across on the web to this folder - then move them to Diigo at a later date.

Diigo is my tool of all tools!! I have more than 10,000 bookmarks in Diigo - yes you read that right, 10000! But - I can find things in Diigo, I have them tagged and added to lists!  One of these days I will write a whole blog post on this amazing  organizational Holy Grail!!

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