06-07: What To Change Next Year General by Joel Wagner - June 5, 2007July 5, 20100 As we begin the summer vacation, I am looking back on what went really well this year, what didn’t work so well, and what needs to change for next year. Below are some of the changes that I intend to implement next year: Create a peaceful work environmentI have already changed the office setting in the new school where I will be. I have a clear desk my computer. and strive to keep it that way. I have a very calming desktop wallpaper and a clean desktop on my computer. RELAX MOREI seem to take things too seriously much of the time. I get bent out of shape when people don’t do what I want them to do. Instead, I will do a lot more pre-planning so that I know how I will respond when certain things happen. I am far more patient than I used to be, but still not where I want to be. Do more early to circumvent bad behaviorI will be very calm about explaining that our goals for the school year include extreme levels of success. As a result, every student is responsible for doing things that will lead us to be highly successful. Students who demonstrate an inability to function with the rest of the group will lose privileges. And their parents will be called. Even better parental communicationI have already set up a website and am working throughout the summer on getting it up and running. I am pretty good about this, but there were times when communication gaps existed. I am striving to be more disciplined in most areas of my life, and this is simply one more area where I will develop discipline to a greater degree. Spend more time planningI already have tentatively set up the calendar for the school year and intend on having an almost complete calendar ready by the time August rolls around. I am planning the objectives that we will grade on each six weeks and going through and deciding on some of the specific music I aim to teach. I did some last year, but want to do even more this year. The less reacting I have to do during the school year, the more peaceful everything will remain. Ultimately, if I can have a more peaceful school year next year than I had this year, and one that rivals the success I experienced this year, then I will have accomplished all that I set out to accomplish. I will be beginning my sixth year as an educator. I don’t want to have a continual series of “first years” like so many teachers I see. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.