Progress Report: One Year Later

Last July I described how I used online mindmapping program MindMeister to organize my then-overwhelming mishmosh of personal and professional goals neatly into academic years.  Now that the 2009-2010 academic year is drawing to a close, I thought I’d publicly review (because I’m nothing if not accountable) whether or not I achieved each of my goals.

Conduct county/state PD workshops: Sort of.  I applied, but ultimately was not chosen, to run some county-level PD workshops this year.  I was, however, asked to run two sessions at the New Jersey Education Association’s Technology Integration Conferences this spring.  Prior obligations prevented me from attending both, but I was able to make it to Trenton a few weeks ago to speak with a group of teachers about Google Sites.  I’m told it went well. 🙂  And in that vein…

Present at NJEA 2009: Yes!  Every November, the New Jersey Education Association hosts its annual convention in Atlantic City over two days.  Last summer, I submitted two proposals for the convention’s “High Tech Hall”, hedging my bets that one would be accepted and the other, not.  To my surprise, not only were both accepted (meaning I was “on stage” for eight straight hours the first day of the convention!), but I was also asked to come back the second day to do a one-hour workshop on wikis in the classroom.  It was a phenomenal experience (I wrote about it here and here), and I’ve already submitted more proposals for Convention 2010.

Attend two psychology conferences: Achievement unlocked!  I attended a presentation in King of Prussia, PA in September on Asperger Syndrome and the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists Winter Conference in Jamesburg, NJ in December.  While I mostly write here about educational technology, I am still a school psychologist for several hours out of the week, and I find far fewer online PD resources in this arena than I do for general ed classroom teachers.  One notable exception to this is the National Association of School Psychologists, who has an entire hub of online resources, including RSS feeds of info, blogs, and online webinars and presentations for which I can receive continuing education credit hours towards my national school psychologist re-certification (thanks, NASP!).  Beyond them, however, I haven’t found much (but am open to suggestions if you have any!).

In a related vein, I also had the privilege of attending a talk by renowned education law guru Perry Zirkel, who came to my school to address an audience of special education teachers and Child Study Team members from Hunterdon County.  An unexpected PD bonus, to be sure!

Get an iPhone: (OK, so they can’t all be lofty goals.) I’d lusted over the iPhone since the day it came out, but in the weeks leading up to my current contract expiring, Sprint introduced a new Android phone, the HTC Hero.  I ended up sticking with Sprint and purchasing the Hero shortly after it came out – the Android market is easily competitive with the iPhone App Store, and my monthly payment is still significantly less than what it would be with AT&T.  I love my Android phone, and can’t see myself going back now.  I didn’t technically achieve this goal, but I’m quite satisfied with how it turned out nonetheless.

Get published:
Yes and no.  At the time of goal-setting, I had envisioned writing an article and having it published in an academic journal.  That hasn’t happened YET (but watch this space in the next year), but I am proud to announce that I will have two short stories published in upcoming anthologies by Kaplan Publishing.  The Teachable Moment is available from June 1, 2010, and includes my story “Alleviating Shakes-Fear”, about my experiences teaching Shakespeare’s works to high school students.  My second story, “The Ick Factor”, will appear in One Size Does Not Fit All (available from June 29, 2010), and presents my feelings on the importance of a visible GLBT presence in school curriculum.  As noted in the agreement I signed with Kaplan, I retain the copyright to my stories, and will be publishing them here as well over the next month or so.

Attend EduCon: Did it.  I only live an hour’s train ride away from Chris Lehmann’s Science Leadership Academy, so now that I’m done with grad school (for now) and my kids aren’t babies any more, I really had nothing preventing me from going.  I had wanted to attend since the first EduCon in 2008, but circumstances were such that I wasn’t able to make it until the 2010 event this past January.  I only attended one of the three days, and you can read my thoughts on my time there hereDeven Black and I also recorded an episode of EdTechClassroom with Karen Chichester & Burt Lo in which we discussed our respective experiences at SLA (check it out here!).

There are two other goals on that list of a more personal nature that I can’t go into here, but I will say that one is in process and the other one has been intentionally deferred until next summer.

These certainly aren’t the only things I’ve done in the past year, but these were the major goals I wanted to make absolutely sure I hit (or at least made progress on) since last summer.  Would I have achieved them had I not recorded them and periodically referred to the mindmap?  Perhaps; it’s impossible to say, really.  All I know is I did write them down and I did achieve almost all of them… and yes, I’ve already started looking at my list of 2010-2011 goals and working hard to make those dreams realities, too.

We’re always setting short- and long-term goals for our students, but are you doing it for yourself?  We all have ideas of what we’d like to do, but have you taken the time to think 6-12 months into the future, put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard!), and make those intentions a little more concrete?  Perhaps most importantly (and terrifying), are you sharing those goals with anyone else?

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