I recently listened to a podcast about a man who has nearly 50 years of teaching experience. 5-0! His name is Joe Hoyle. If people who aren’t teachers listened to him, they might consider becoming teachers…he was that inspiring. I love listening to people who are so obviously passionate in their field because their energy is infectious.
In the podcast, he talks about the importance of having great goals. Without these goals, he argues, how can we aspire to be great teachers? As I stopped to think about this, I realized that I have career goals, but I don’t have clearly defined goals that push me to teach and design as best I can. So, I thought I’d change that by reflecting on my great goals.
Why Great Goals?
I have goals in nearly every aspect of my life–fitness, health, relationships, you name it. Some of my career goals include finishing the PDAL program, producing my own workshop, and teaching formally. While these goals are fine to have, they don’t really help me focus on the “why.”
These career goals are important to me because they give me a sense of direction. I like that they plant my feet firmly in the ground. Yet, when I achieve these goals, I have to create new ones. I think I’d better start calling these milestones, since that seems to be more accurate. They are milestones that I hope to achieve in my career. I would be very happy if I did.
But the goals are what I need to develop to help me continually answer the “why.” I think they’ll help me check in with myself and take on opportunities that align with my beliefs. And if I’m developing goals, they really ought to be great goals.
My Great Goals
Joe discusses his great goals in this blog post, which I recommend reading. As I started to reflect on my own goals, I realized I have two main passions: teaching and designing. Both are important to me, so both should have goals. Here are my goals related to teaching:
- Help students understand how they learn. I want to teach them strategies that will help them outside my class and prepare for a future of lifelong learning. In workbooks, I have started to add learning tips to help them better process information.
- Promote curiosity and an open mind. Despite challenges and hurdles, I want to instil joy and passion for learning, while still being critical of new information. I steer away from “giving them the answer” when possible.
- Have students teach me as much as I teach them. We are in such powerful positions as teachers that I feel it’s important to not take total control. In class, I’m working on interacting more with students and minimizing my amount of lecture time.
As for designing:
- Design the kind of learning experiences I wish I had. My intention here is to design curriculum people will want to take. I’ve begun applying aspects of SAM to involve learners early on in the design process.
- Create meaningful experiences that will transfer after a program is done. I want these experiences to mean something to students, so I’m working on creating lessons that are relevant and timeless.
These goals are central to the kind of work I want to be doing. Even though I’ve shared how I’m trying to incorporate the goals, applying a certain number of strategies doesn’t mean that I’ll “reach” these goals. They will be something I’ll always have in the back of mind, striving toward.
I’ve realized that I have many idols in the teaching and design industries. I try to follow along with them as best I can; I use Diigo and Inoreader to automate how I receive articles, but I still find this to be overwhelming at times. For a visual representation of some of my favourite people and resources in these fields, check out my Symbaloo: https://www.symbaloo.com/home/mix/13ePBiAC5g
Running image taken from Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/PHIgYUGQPvU