Like many other people, at the start of the year I always like to set myself some targets, whether it’s to improve my health, give something up (ie wine, which I’m doing this month!), whether it’s to increase my written output, professional goals – you name it! 

But for 10 days now, as I have been driving to the office and thinking about goal-setting, I have been watching a man jogging.   He’s obviously just taken up this activity; he is larger than average size and weight, he hasn’t been going very fast, and to be honest it looks like it is a bit of an ordeal.  Also this man doesn’t wear what I would call special running gear, you know the kind of swaggy lycra neon look (or am I stuck in the 80s...). 

Anyway.... the first time I saw him he looked decidedly out of his comfort zone.  I thought to myself “OK, he probably hasn’t got all the tools and tricks, he’s learning on the way, he woke up one day and decided he had to start somewhere”.  He probably thought he would just give it a try.  And why not?  10 days later he is looking rather faster, less puffed out and I applaud his effort. 

My point here is that sometimes we don’t give new ideas a chance, it’s not comfortable to make changes to the way we do things.  (I know that I’ve been extremely challenged by not having a glass of Pinot Grigio with my evening meal!)  But in class, why not try something new with your students?

Professional goals

I think it’s good for everyone to try a challenge themselves, to get out of the "same ol’, same ol’”  for a number of reasons.  This year when I thought about setting my professional goals, my number one was to try and unravel the confused and muddled mess we have in terms of what works well in education for our young people.

I work with so many youngsters who had or are having, a difficult time at school or college (due to their behaviour), and they are desperate to make some changes to that.  so I’m upping my game.   The techniques that I’ve seen work, that I’ve read about, that I’ve tried, these are the areas that I want to work harder on and I want to share them with as many teachers and LSAs as possible. That’s my goal - to ensure that everyone wins.  

My request to you dear reader, don’t close your mind to new ideas, the student who is disengaged and didn’t want to be in your class could just be the one who gains the spark from you that creates the fire in their belly.