Goals are dreams with deadlines.
Diana Scharf Hunt
Last month I visited a school in Massachusetts to film lesson study sessions with first- and third-grade teaching teams. One phrase I heard repeatedly that I am trying to hold onto as the new year begins is “honor the time.” Throughout the day, Jason DiCarlo (the principal) and Laura Lesniak (the literacy coach) used the phrase to show they recognized and respected the agreements made months previously about how time would be spent in the meetings. “We’re going to honor the time by moving on to the design elements of the lesson” or “We’re going to honor the time by starting now” were just a couple of the dozen or more times I heard those words.
We feel least respected when people don’t appreciate our time — by stealing or ignoring it, or showing that they value their time over ours. One of the reasons teachers feel so stressed these days is that their time isn’t honored — agreements about how it will be used are broken, often on a daily basis.
We can’t control the actions of others, but we still have power to control our own. My goal this winter is to honor my time more — to acknowledge what I value most by giving more time to it. How might you honor your time in new ways this year? How might you honor students’ time? Time is the concrete measure of how we are moving toward or away from goals. We honor our needs and those in our communities by honoring time.
The start of a new year is always a good time to look at goals, so that’s the focus this week. Enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
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Here are two features from the archives to help you think about goals in fresh ways.
Gretchen Taylor connects Running and Middle School Reading Goals as she helps her students define purposes for their reading:
If you miss your goal during a lesson, is a “do over” ever a possibility? Melanie Quinn writes about the power of reflection and honesty when things go wrong in Keeping It Real for Students:
In this blog excerpt, Patrick Allen explains why lifting a line is still a great strategy for helping students to focus in reading on writer’s craft, and bring inspiration back to their writing notebooks:
What’s the best way to honor your time? Maybe by giving more of it to sleep. Tony Schwartz reveals why sleep is more important than food for humans when it comes to productivity and general well being:
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Our latest cluster tackles interactive read alouds, with contributions from Shari Frost, Franki Sibberson, Melissa Styger, and Karen Terlecky:
We’re launching a new high school series this week from Gretchen Schroeder on Shakespeare in the Age of the Common Core. This week’s installment looks at Delving into Deep Questions with Macbeth:
Katie DiCesare confers with first grader Jack, using rereading to help him rethink the title of his story and possibilities for revision in this week’s video:
Finally, here’s a bonus video. Aimee Buckner teaches a fourth grader a strategy for using a sticky note to keep track of characters when there are multiple narrators in a novel:
That’s all for this week!