I have narrowed my list of things to focus on for 2011-2012 to just three. This new list isn't elephant-sized at all. I am feeling much more optimistic, now that I have a plan.
1. Making videos: I am still completely intrigued by the concept of the inverted classroom, but I just can't wrap my brain around how that will work for my high school students. And I am not convinced that the payoff is there. I am not trashing the idea forever, but I have decided to postpone it in order to focus on higher priorities. In the mean time, I am going to be diligent about recording all of my direct instruction LIVE. This means I won't be spending any extra time outside of class making videos. I will be able to make these videos immediately available to students who were absent or who want to review the material. As an extra added bonus, I should end the year with a bank of videos for future use -- voila!
2. Common Core: One of the biggest concerns for myself and my colleagues is our state's adoption of Common Core standards. We are in a comfort zone with our current standards. We know how to prepare our students for our state assessment, and we are nervous about the transition to a new one. I am hoping to gather as much information as possible over the summer, so that we can start getting ready for the changeover. I am attending a 2-day conference, and I've enrolled in an online class through a local university. I am hoping that my colleagues and I can use our PLC time next year to do concept lists for our classes. I don't plan on making any major changes until then. One step at a time, right?
3. Physics: I have decided to let my growth as a physics teacher happen more naturally. I have added some physics blogs to my reader. I have started to tag some videos, demos, and lesson ideas as I find them. In general, I am looking for ways to enhance what I am already doing vs. a complete overhaul.
Speaking of three, that is how many weeks until summer! 13 school days, to be exact.