Tidying up the Corner: Making a List

"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and your own self.”  Aldous Huxley

Huxley's quote is one of my favorites, and I revisit it from time to time, especially at the end of the school year. As educators begin the short, but much-needed summer hiatus from the hustle and bustle of the classroom, I’d like to take an allegorical look at the “corner” Huxley speaks of. After all, this is the Teacher's Corner.

Writing.pngLike many of you, I regularly employ the strategy of list-making for a variety of responsibilities. They help me organize and keep me on track to complete things on time. I’m working with one right now that lays out a desk and room cleaning schedule for sorting, filing, packing, and discarding papers in preparation for the summer break. In truth, lists are found everywhere. To-do lists, shopping lists, student interest lists, classroom lists, guest lists, reference lists, and a host of others. They may be written on a piece of paper, digitally entered on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and can even be recorded as a series of voice notes. 

While all of these lists serve a specific purpose, none directly seek to “improve one’s corner.” I believe it may be time for one. As with any professional position that requires both intra- and interpersonal skills, a balance of relaxation, recreation, self-reflection, and continuing education are necessary to keep things fresh and original. As a result, I have started to make a different sort of list, one intended to help me improve. This is not a “bucket” list, but rather a simple collection of attainable items that I hope to accomplish by summer’s end. Try to create one for yourself, and in doing so tidy up and improve your own Teacher’s Corner.

Here is mine so far:

  • Visit a used bookstore at least once and find one book about education and one for pleasure, preferably an adventure novel.
  • Find three unique resource links for next year’s curriculum.
  • Work on an idea for a blog post related to Gifted Education.
  • Locate one educator grant and apply for it. A good source is Grants Wrangler
  • Talk with another educator about the art of teaching over a long cup of tea or coffee.
  • Explain the principles of gifted education to someone who doesn’t know what it is all about.
  • Read the July issue of Gifted Child Quarterly.
  • Think of something new to teach.
  • Encourage another educator to present at or attend a conference.
  • Plan for the opening of school.
  • Relax as often as possible.

Have fun making your list and checking things off. Be sure to keep an eye on the NAGC website for changes and additions throughout the coming months and for the August issue of Teaching for High Potential. Enjoy the summer!