I have never been very good at developing—never mind sharing—New Year’s resolutions. I like to think that if I want to or need to change something I won’t wait until the turn of the December calendar. This time, however, I decided to give it a try. Here we go:
1. Participate in more professional development opportunities that will strengthen my leadership skills and deepen my understanding of high achieving schools.
2. Increase my interactions and relationships with town and community departments and organizations that will support increased student learning and growth.
3. Consider ways we can encourage additional student feedback and input to improve school and instructional programs.
4. Visit more classrooms.
5. Build support for a reasonable and prudent 2011-12 budget plan that sustains our work in the schools.
6. Ensure the upcoming repairs and the relocation of students at the Newman Elementary School are completed safely, efficiently, and under budget.
7. Review special education programming within the Needham Schools to learn how we can a) increase student learning and achievement, and b) use our resources more efficiently.
8. Speak out about senseless legislative and administrative “reforms” that only burden educators and do little, if anything, to improve learning or assist teachers. (The recently adopted Massachusetts Ethics Commission disclosure guidelines for teacher gifts come to mind, for example.)
9. Attend as many of my high school daughter’s track meets as possible this winter and spring; Skype frequently with my two other daughters; and share even more goofy stories and jokes with them.
10. Take my wife out to dinner more regularly and lengthen our walks around the neighborhood.
And, finally, don’t do all of these things in order; be more flexible. Happy New Year!