By Sarah Wright
If you're a teacher, you probably relate to the idea of wanting to keep things fresh and innovative, if not for the interest of your students then for your own sanity and professional enthusiasm. There are plenty of educators in your position, and luckily there are some great resources that can help you find new ways to approach your work. One great example of this is the 30 Goals Project from the Teacher Reboot Camp blog.
Teacher Reboot Camp is a blog written primarily by Shelly Terrell, a long-term educator. The blog's focus is on professional development and it carries a subtitle of 'Challenging Ourselves to Engage Our Students.' There are a lot of great resources for teachers on the blog, including links to various digital resources that can help educators think of new ways to incorporate technology, inspire their students and get the most out of their performance. It makes sense, then, that this space devoted to innovation and passion would host a project designed to motivate teachers to do their best work.
The aim of the 30 Goals Project is to motivate its participants to become more passionate educators. The goals themselves include short-term and long-term projects that help bring a fresh perspective to the teaching profession. Some projects focus on interactions with students, parents and colleagues, while others focus on the participant. The projects have titles like 'Engage Parents,' 'Reflect, Step Back, Act,' 'Establish a Web Presence,' 'Help Them Shine!,' 'Avoid Burnout' and 'Plant a Seed of Belief.'
The last goal, 'Plant a Seed of Belief,' is the tenth goal for 2011, and is a great example of what these little posts can add to your educational routine. Like most of the goals, the tenth is accompanied by a YouTube video of Terrell. In this video, she tells an inspirational and very personal story of how she came to be the first person from her family to graduate from college and break the family's 'cycle of poverty,' as she put it. She accomplished this because her father believed in her, she says, and the purpose of the 'Plant a Seed of Belief' goal is to do the same for students. The purpose of this goal is to encourage educators to inspire discouraged students to believe in themselves.
The goals all follow a similar tack, asking educators to be resilient and enthusiastic, rather than discouraged and frustrated, in the face of a challenge. The 30 Goals Project helps make this big job manageable by breaking the task into smaller, digestible pieces.
If you'd like to participate in the 30 Goals Challenge, you can find a guide on Terrell's Teacher Reboot Camp blog, or on the Teaching With Soul blog, which is written by Lisa Dabb, a former school principal. Your participation in the challenge can vary in involvement. If you just want to read through the posts for inspiration, you can do so with relative ease. The writing for these posts is engaging and definitely provides some food for thought.
If you're interested in getting a little more involved, you can subscribe to the YouTube channel, subscribe to the Podcast, join the 30 Goals group on Facebook and join the conversation with the 30 Goals Twitter hashtag. You can also discuss the goals with other readers in the comments on the Teacher Reboot Camp blog. The 30 Goals Challenge is available for free download as an e-book, too. If you really enjoyed your experience with the Challenge, you can check out the 30 Goals from 2010. There are some really great ideas in both years that should help you gain a fresh perspective on education work.
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