Monthly Archives: January 2013

101 Tips Music Teachers Should Know

There are some great tips in this book that all music teachers can use. I took extensive notes as I read it and want to share some of them with you here.

Smash Gender Stereotypes.

Some people erroneously think certain instruments or professions  are better suited to certain genders. We can help teach students that this simply isn’t the case by showing video clips of women conductors, male flutists, and professional dancers of both genders.

“Be a good role model for students in the way you speak. Use correct grammar. Listen to yourself. Tape record a rehearsal and do a self-critique.”

I like this idea and I live by it. I am very particular of how I present myself to my students. I choose my words carefully and model proper English. For example, I became aware that I said “gonna” a lot and it was something I worked hard to change. I now say “going to” instead. It’s a small thing but small things are important too.

Become Your Own PR Department.

Music teachers need to promote their program, be visual in the community, and work hard to make connections. We can do so by inviting city counsellors, mayors, and the press to concerts and performances. All of this establishes our visibility and the importance of arts programs in the schools.

“Students must learn at an early age that successful musicians need healthy bodies. . . You have influence. They will listen and follow the label of their role model.”

Never thought much about this one,  but I like it. We need to promote healthy living in school as often as we can. Why not tie it into the arts as well?

There is a lot more food for thought in this book.

I enjoyed reading this book and have already implemented a few of the ideas into my music program at school. Some of these ideas would be great for regular classroom teachers as well. In fact, all of the above are things teachers of every grade and subject should embrace.

I think you will get a lot out of this book. It is written with a tip every page or two so you can pick and chose the sections you want to read quickly and easily. That works great for teachers pressed for time.

Enhancing the Professional Practice of Music Teachers: 101 Tips that Principals Want Music Teachers to Know and Do by Paul G. Young

Visit the Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive for hundreds of great tips, tricks, and lessons.

Superman: The Mixtape

Last year, on this very day, I dedicated a mixtape to one of the most iconic superheroes of our time, Batman.

I decided to make this a tradition and to release another superhero-themed mixtape this year.

This one is dedicated to the Man of Steel.

There were so many great songs to choose from, and all dealing with the Superman.

Download Superman: The Mixtape (the album version)

01. Radio Intro
02. The Clique – Superman
03. REM – I am Superman
04. Goldfinger – Superman
05. The Kinks – Wish I could Fly Like Superman
06. Johnny Guitar Watson – Superman Lover
07. Redman – A Day of Sooperman Lover
08. Above the Law – Black Superman
09. Big Head Todd & The Monsters – Resignation Superman
10. Sufjan Stevens – The Man of Metropolis Steals Out Hearts
11. Crash Test Dummies – Superman’s Song
12. Joe Brooks – Superman
13. Aaron Tippon – Honky Tonk Superman
14. Firewater – So Long Superman
15. Newcleus – Jam On It
16. 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite
17. Eric Clapton – Superman Inside
18. Lazlo Bane – I’m No Superman
19. Five for Fighting – Superman
20. Flaming Lips – Waitin’ for Superman
21. Our Lady Peace – Superman’s Dead
22. John Williams – Movie Theme

or stream it with the player below.

Next week, I will release a kids friendly version of this tape. This version does have a few adult moments to it. The stream below is the all-ages approved mix and will be available in album format soon.

I hope you enjoy the tunes!

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Don’t Be So Critical (I Know it’s Hard)

Cover of "Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us&...
Cover of Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

“What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism.”

– Seth Godin from the book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

What an amazing observation.

We’re afraid of people saying things like. . .

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“What a waste of money”

“Who’s responsible for this?”

or perhaps even worse. And this stops us from trying new things, taking risks, and from putting ourselves out there.

I don’t want to give you extra motivation to stand up in the face of adversity today.

I want to help you let someone else do it. I want you to stop and think about the negative things you might say, that you have said, that people will imagine you saying when they stand up to try something new.

There’s two sides to every story. I know I don’t let fear stop me from doing things. But I also know that I am quick to criticize. I am quick to shoot down ideas I don’t think will fly. Ideas that are not exactly on my wave-length. Stuff I think is stupid.

I’m going to try my best not to do that any more. It’s going to be a difficult thing to do, but I don’t want to hold someone back. We should all be able to follow our dreams without fear.

That’s my thought of the day!

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Chasing Content – January 2008

Chasing Content is a feature on Silent Cacophony that has us looking back at the best posts of the month that was.

Today, we travel back to 2008 to see what was happening here on the blog five years ago.

You can read all of the posts from January 2008 . . . 

or just these highlights

Why Can’t Teaching Be Like Coaching – When you coach, pretty much everyone on the team wants to be there and they will work hard to prove themselves. I sometimes wish teaching could be more like that as well. I am dedicated to what I do, I want my students to succeed, but not all of them put in the effort needed.

Give the Cameraman Some – I respect a good camera operator. It’s a lot tougher job that you might expect. Let’s celebrate the people behind the camera every once in a while.

Bring Work Home – It is impossible to carry out all the duties of a teacher in the course of a school day. Quite often teachers bring work home, work late, or go in early to get all of the day-to-day stuff done. We do this because we care.

Silent Cacophony is Third in Line – I really feel like I own the rights to the title “Silent Cacophony.” I was using it before I ever blogged.

I’ve held the number one search position for some time now and I am glad. But there is a new site that recently started operation under silentcacophony.com. Makes me wish I’d bought that domain, but I always figured people wouldn’t know how to spell it. ChaseMarch.com is a lot easier to remember.

My New Novel – I hope to get this novel polished and published this year. That’s my goal.

Thanks for the memories and thanks for Chasing Content with me.

Report Card Comments

Report card comments should be specific to the child. Each comment should reflect what your student has accomplished in the reporting period, what areas they may have had trouble in, and next steps for improvement.

It can feel like a huge undertaking when first starting to come up with your own personalized comments.

The comments below are basic starting points that will hopefully help you get started on writing your reports.

There are certain students where you will need to add more detail to show what they have done in the class and areas in which they can improve.

The first comment under each heading is my “Level 4” or “A” comment, under that is a “Level 3” or “B” comment, and finally there is a “Level 2” or “C” comment.

*N* indicates student name (i.e. Michael)

*4* stands for “he/she”

*2* stands for “his/her”

This year I am only teaching the arts and a few periods of Physical Education and Health.

If you have any Language Arts or Mathematics comments you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.

Here are my comments . . .

HEALTH

*N* has an excellent understanding of how to make healthy food choices for meals and snacks. *4* was able to create a one day meal plan that included a wide range of healthy foods for every meal and snacks. *N* is encouraged to continue to make healthy food choices at school and at home.

*N* has a good understanding of how to make healthy food choices for meals and snacks. *4* was able to create a one day meal plan that included healthy foods for every meal and snacks. *N* is encouraged to continue to make healthy food choices at school and at home.

*N* has an understanding of how to make healthy food choices for meals and snacks. *4* was able to create a one day meal plan that included some healthy foods for every meal and snacks. *N* is encouraged to continue to make healthy food choices at school and at home.

GYM

*N* enthusiastically participates in cooperative games, sports, and fitness activities. *4* demonstrates a high level of skill and understanding across a range of games and activities. *N* is encouraged to take a leadership role and help build the confidence of *2* teammates.

*N* is an active participant in cooperative games, sports, and fitness activities. *4* demonstrates a good level of skill and understanding across a range of games and activities. *N* is encouraged to cooperatively work with *2* peers and teammates.

*N* sometimes participates actively in cooperative games, sports, and fitness activities. *4* demonstrates some skill and understanding across a range of games and activities. *N* is encouraged to model good sportsmanship in all areas of the program.

DANCE

*N* has learned dance moves and routines this term with success. *4* is an active participant in class and shows initiative when working alone and in small groups. We will continue to build on *N*s performance skills in the next term.

*N* has learned dance moves and routines this term with success. *4* is an active participant in class and works well in small groups. We will continue to build on *N*’s performance skills in the next term.

*N* has learned dance moves and routines this term with some success. *4* is an active participant in class and works in small groups with some assistance. We will continue to build on *N*’s performance skills in the next term.

DRAMA

*N* is able to perform short dramatic works in front of an audience. *4* uses action and tone of voice proficiently in *2* presentations. Next term we will focus on using a variety of drama techniques to communicate the meaning of work effectively.

*N* is able to perform short dramatic works in front of an audience. *4* uses appropriate actions and a good tone of voice in *2* presentations. Next term we will focus on using a variety of drama techniques to communicate the meaning of work effectively.

*N* is able to perform short dramatic works in front of an audience. With some assistance, *4* uses action and tone of voice in *2* presentations. Next term we will focus on using a variety of drama techniques to communicate the meaning of work effectively.

GRADE 5 MUSIC

In Music, *N* is able to perform unison and two-part music on the Alto Recorder with proficiency. *4* demonstrates an excellent understanding of musical notation. Continue to challenge yourself, *N*, with a focus on dynamics and phrasing.
In Music, *N* is able to perform unison and two-part music on the Alto Recorder with accuracy. *4* demonstrates a good understanding of musical notation. Next term, we will work on memorizing the fingering positions for the notes of the Concert Bb scale.

In Music, *N* is beginning to be able to perform unison and two-part on the Alto Recorder with some guidance. *4* demonstrates a basic understanding of music but will benefit from asking questions and getting extra help when needed.

GRADE 6 MUSIC

In Music, *N* is able to perform unison and two-part music on *2* instrument with proficiency. *4* demonstrates an excellent understanding of musical notation. Continue to challenge yourself, *N*, with a focus on dynamics and phrasing.

In Music, *N* is able to perform unison and two-part music on *2* instrument with accuracy. *4* demonstrates a good understanding of musical notation. *4* is encouraged to memorize the fingering positions for the notes of the Concert Bb scale.

In Music, *N* is beginning to be able to perform unison and two-part music on *2* instrument. *4* demonstrates an understanding of musical notation. *4* is encouraged to set aside time for additional practise to improve pitching, rhythm, and tone.

GRADE 7 MUSIC

In Music, *N* plays confidently and consistently in tune. *4* demonstrates an excellent understanding of musical notation. Continue to challenge yourself, *N* by adding dynamics and articulation in your performances.

In Music, *N* plays accurately and in tune. *4* demonstrates a good understanding of musical notation. *N* would benefit from memorizing the fingering positions for the notes of the Concert Bb scale.

In Music, *N* performs in tune with some guidance. *4* demonstrates an understanding of musical notation. *N* is encouraged to practise regularly to improve pitching, rhythm, and tone.

GRADE 8 MUSIC

In Music, *N* plays confidently and consistently in tune. *4* demonstrates an excellent understanding of musical notation. Continue to challenge yourself, *N* by adding dynamics and phrasing in your performances.

In Music, *N* plays accurately and in tune. *4* demonstrates a good understanding of musical notation. *N* would benefit from memorizing the fingering positions for the notes of the Concert Bb scale.

In Music, *N* performs in tune with some guidance. *4* demonstrates an understanding of musical notation. *N* is encouraged to practise regularly to improve pitching, rhythm, and tone.

GENERAL MUSIC COMMENT

*N* has learned to play *4* instrument this term with success. *N* is an active participant in class and shows initiative when working alone and with *4* section. We will continue to build on N阵 performance skills in the next term.

ANY COMMENTS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

Please leave a comment below to share.

Some Music Really is Garbage

I was better off when I thought this was merely fiction.

It’s hard to imagine that poverty exists to this extent.

The timing of this is also something because just today I blogged about that book and then I come across this video.

Cateura, Paraguay is a town essentially built on top of a landfill. Garbage collectors browse the trash for sellable goods, and children are often at risk of getting involved with drugs and gangs. When orchestra director Szaran and music teacher Favio set up a music program for the kids of Cateura, they soon have more students than they have instruments.

That changed when Szaran and Favio were brought something they had never seen before: a violin made out of garbage. Today, there’s an entire orchestra of assembled instruments, now called The Recycled Orchestra.

Our film shows how trash and recycled materials can be transformed into beautiful sounding musical instruments, but more importantly, it brings witness to the transformation of precious human beings.

This film looks incredible. It just goes to show you the power of music.

Chasing Content – January 2009

The one bad thing about blogs is how quickly the posts get buried in the archives. It’s sometimes hard to stroll through the olds posts and relive the great articles and content that get published on a blog.

I try my best to make my content easily accessible. At the start of each month, I look back at that same month from the previous year and make a best of list. I call this feature Chasing Content.

I’m in the process of making these “Best of” lists for every single month I have blogged. That is why you are getting a second dose of Chasing Content this month.

Let’s go four years back into time and dig through the archives.

Read all of the posts from January 2009 . . . 

or just these ones . . .

Best Teacher Ever – This was a great day and it’s nice to be able to relive it through the magic og the blog archive.

Why Do We Fall for 99 Cent Pricing? – Today, I bought a meal combo at A&W. It was a special promo for $5.00 tax included. I wonder why more things can’t be priced this way.

School’s Not Important – Please put a value on education and stop sending the message that school is not important. It’s important to me. I want to see your kids succeed in life, but I need your support. Thanks!

Everyone Wants to be Joan – This article reminds me of the stuff I used to write for the high school newspaper. It’s about the connections I draw between television shows. Some shows are built upon the success of others, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Love is a Mix Tape – I love mixtapes. This book practically called out to me when I saw in on the bookshelf. It was a great read too and might have got me back into the habit of making mixtapes again.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

The 5 Pillars of the Music Business

“The music business was built around five pillars:

  • Free radio promotion 
  • A limited number of competing music labels
  • The high cost of production, requiring musicians to get financing from labels
  • The Top 40 hits-based focus of the baby boomer generation
  • A high margin, nonreproducible medium (the LP)
One by one, each of these five pillars has crumbled over the past five years. The result is that while there is still plenty of music, the music business is in trouble.
The innovation: use digital distribution and the Internet like radio, but do it better.”
– Seth Godin from the book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Those pillars made sense in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, they kept many people away from creating music. 
I’m glad the second pillar crumbled.
Some of my favourite albums came out on independent labels. 
I’m glad that third pillar crumbled. 
Anyone can write, record, and distribute their music now without having to spend thousands of dollars in a music studio, without having to convince a label to take a chance on them, and without having to press up hundreds or thousands of product before they’ve sold any units. 
I’m glad the fifth pillar crumbled. 
I love making mixtapes. It’s an art unto itself. It allows those of us who can’t play instruments to still play and create musical compositions. It lets us share music. I allows us to be deejays, or music programmers on a small level. 
The first pillar is still alive.
In this digital age, we can promote things easily and for free. We can post songs on our own websites, share them on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and many other such sites. We can even get radio play (if we are lucky) 
The fourth pillar is still alive too.
I don’t think radio will ever die. I’m a champion for it, just not the Top 40 format. 
I think deejays need to play music they love and enjoy. We need to hand the power back to them. I’m not sure that is going to happen any time soon. Until it does, we have community radio and podcasts. 

The Word is Bond Podcast

Check it out, my podcast is now on the first page of the hip-hop category.

I’ve been working hard to bring you the best in underground hip-hop, music, and talk each and every week.

I’m on the radio Saturday nights with Daddy J. Our show is called DOPEfm and you can tune it in on 93.3 CFMU on your radio dial or stream it worldwide on the CFMU website.

The podcast is a partnership between the radio show and the informative hip-hop magazine website, The Word is Bond.

We drop a new podcast episode every Monday morning. You can stream the show on The Word is Bond Channel at Mixcloud or you can subscribe to feed on iTunes to make sure you never miss an episode.

Please help spread the word about The Word is Bond. 

We’re doing big things in 2013!

Teaching Tip – Assessment and Marking

Welcome to Teaching Tip Tuesday!

Every week I share with you a tip that I hope you will find useful in your teaching.

You can visit the Teaching Tips Archive to see all of the tips in the order I have posted them over the years. Please check that page as I will continue to update it every week with the latest Teaching Tip.

This page is all about the assessing and marking student work. If you are an teacher, feel free to bookmark this page and come back often. I will update it with any new tip I publish that has to do with assessment.

I hope you enjoy these Teaching Tips.

Great Drama Rubric
Level Everything
Mark Book

Know Your History – The Complete Third Season

Know Your History is a documentary radio show that I produce each and every month. The show is subtitled “Your Monthly Dose of Hip-Hop Knowledge”

I try my best to deliver content that educates and entertains. I am a hip-hop historian and love sharing these stories about the rich culture of hip-hop with you.

This past year, I covered some pretty interesting topics. We looked at . . .

I have some great content coming your way this year as well. 
Stay tuned to DOPEfm to hear the shows live Saturday nights and you can also catch them on The Word is Bond Podcast every month
or you can click on the above titles to download the individual episodes and read the transcripts.
Thanks for tuning in! 

Kool Krys Autograph

Kool Krys is a talented rap artist. Her album, “Listen to Your Art” even made it on my Top 12 albums of 2012. Even cooler is that I have it autographed now.

It was such a pleasure having her on the first roundtable discussion I ever did for the radio. It was part of our special programming for International Women’s Day and the show was quite the success.

Make sure you stay tuned to the blog and the radio to catch our 3rd Annual Women in Hip-Hop Special that will be airing on Saturday March 9th, 2013.

Star Trek: Always Chasing the Past

Star Trek is a great franchise. It’s what originally got me started in collecting comics. I needed more Star Trek stories of the original crew. I guess we all do.

Star Trek: Countdown

This graphic novels serves as a prequel to the reboot of the movie franchise. There were a lot of things wrong with that film. A lot. This comic did a better job of bridging the old trek with the new. I wish more of this content had made it into the film.

The story here takes place several years after Star Trek: Nemesis. Captain Picard is now an ambassador, Geordi LaForge has left Starfleet and now designs and builds commercial spacecraft. In fact, he designed the ship that the older Spock flies in the film. Nice detail there!

One thing that has always bugged me about the Star Trek spin-offs and further adventures is how the writers often mine classic Trek for story ideas.

In the last Star Trek film, prior to this reboot, Data sacrificed himself to save the ship. It was pretty obvious that the writers of the film had left a way for him to return in the next film though. In this sense,  the writers were pretty much copying Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Data was the Spock character for the new series. Some people thought he was a cold, emotionless robot. What better way to recreate that trope than an actual robot (or android in this series)

I was expected one more Next Generation film, which would have been the eleventh in chronological order. I was expecting Data to come back to life in it, just like Spock has done in Star Trek III.

That is why it was cool to see Captain Data commanding The Enterprise.

I also like the tension that surrounded Ambassador Spock in this story. He is working and living on Romulus with the goal of reuniting and bringing ultimate peace between the Romulans and the Vulcans. It made sense for his character. He’d already done the same with the Klingons and The Federation.

Worf even has a role in this comic.

I like what they did with this book. I wish the movie could have done the same thing. They bridged the history of the last Star Trek film, tying in Next Generation characters, and then went back into the past to start it all from the beginning. It’s poetic and it works.

Star Trek: Volume 1

The cover of this book has a reviewer’s quote that reads, “The new Star Trek comic literally combines the best of the old series and the new movie.”

I must admit, that intrigued me.

Until I read it.

I am so tired of lazy Star Trek writers. Why must they constantly recycle old material?

This series retells two episodes of the first season of the original series. There is nothing creative about it. Nothing.

The first story retells “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and there are a few rumors floating around that the second movie may also do the same thing. The comic did a good job of retelling this iconic story while setting it in the new timeline. It just didn’t offer me anything new.

(Spoiler Alert)

The second story was a complete let down. The original Galileo Seven was a great episode. It dealt with Spock having to take command of a small shuttle crew. The rest of the crew didn’t understand or agree with his decisions. And it was a life or death situation. The stakes were that high.

The comic retelling rushes through the story and doesn’t hit any of the emotional arcs it should have. The resolution was even changed. Instead of the small crew coming together and solving their own problems, Uhura swooshes in and saves the day.

I was so disappointed with this story. This series is just a bad idea all around.

I’m willing to accept the new timeline. I’m eager to see new Star Trek adventures both on film and in the comics. It just can’t be done this way. It’s lazy writing. It doesn’t honour the Original Series at all.

Star Trek needs to stop chasing the past. 

Star Trek needs to stop mining old material for new stories. It needs to live in the new timeline and reality created for the reboot. But it has to do so in a believable way with strong writing and great stories. That’s what I have always loved about Star Trek and that’s what I hope to see in the new film.

Point Out the Positive

Larry Ferlazzo is a dedicated teacher who has a weekly practice that I can’t help but admire. It only takes a portion of his lunch time and it probably really makes someone’s day.

“I walk around campus spotting students — either ones I have now or have had in the past — and they are usually with some of their friends. I go up to the group, point out that student, and say something like, “Did you know that there is no harder worker in my class than _______?” or “Did you know that there are few other students who help their classmates more than _______?” or some other comment singling out that particular student for something that they do especially well.

Those students, though they may feign embarrassment, love it.
In fact, it’s not unusual that one of their friends — who I don’t know — will say, “What about me?” I quickly respond, “If you were in my class, I’m sure I could say the same thing about you.”

I have, and continue to have, many students who face lots of challenges, and it’s safe to say that many don’t get the kind of positive feedback they deserve.

A little public acknowledgment can go a long way.”

I am going to try this. I think there are all sorts of things we can say to our students that point out their strengths. Making a point to do this at least once a week is a great idea.

Find out more about Larry Ferlazzo by reading his blog, or head over to this original post and leave him a comment on this very subject.

And why not check out this video too. It’s pretty cool!

2012 – Year of the Themed Mixtape

At the beginning of last year I challenged myself to make a mixtape every single month for the entire year.

12 mixtapes for 2012!

I actually surpassed that goal and made 14 of them.

Click on the pictures to download or stream each mix.

Enjoy the tunes!

Click on the cover pictures to download each mixtape. You’ll be taken to the original blog post where you’ll be able to stream each mix, download it as one MP3 file or as a tracked album.

Enjoy the music!

Chasing Content – The Best of January

It’s time for another edition of Chasing Content, that monthly feature that has us digging through the archives to see what was happening here on the blog last year at this time.

So, click on the links below to relive some of the great moments from last year. You can also explore past posts by using ‘Blog Archive’ on the sidebar.

Read all of the posts from last January

or just these

The Way You Speak Depends on the Situation – I love this quote from a memoir. It really is inspiring, and I think it’s something we can use in our teaching. That is why I included it in my weekly Teaching Tip Tuesday series.

Arctic Air Soars – Season 2 of this uniquely Canadian drama starts on Wednesday. I’ll be tuning in for sure. Hope you are too.

Lighter or Darker Words – I love this vocabulary activity. It gets students exploring synonyms in creative ways. They work to come up with varying levels of the same word.

Stealing Time at Work – As far as I am concerned there are only two ways to steal time at work. What do you think?

Redefining Masculinity in Hip-Hop – I’m really proud of this half hour of radio. I think it tackles an important topic in a real and honest way. I hope it reaches a wide audience.

A Reality Where Bruce Willis Isn’t Bruce Willis – I love this post too. Nothing much I can say about it here. You just need to click through.

Music and Movement – Bobby McFerrin leads an unsuspecting audience in a musical activity. It’s simply brilliant in its simplicity! I had to embed it here too (just in case you can’t click through for whatever reason)

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

Forget the New Year’s Resolutions – Goals are Way Better!

I think the moment you realize that something isn’t working for you, that’s when you should resolve to change it. You shouldn’t wait till New Year’s Eve.

Last year, I decided to make a few goals instead of resolutions. I made the mistake of only writing them down on the blog and letting them get buried in the archives. As such, I only managed to complete 6 out of 9 of them.

I like the idea of setting some yearly goals. It gives me something to shoot for.

Here are my goals for 2013

1) Contribute a half an hour of content to DOPEfm weekly this year.

DOPEfm is an overnight hip-hop radio show that can be heard each and every Saturday night. On average, I contribute 90 minutes of programming for it every month. I do a monthly segment on the history of hip-hop entitled Know Your History. I also do an in-depth artist interview every month.

This year, I want to do a half-hour of hip-hop talk radio every week. I will be assembling panels of artists, deejays, writers, and anyone else that is interested in having a roundtable discussion on some of the topics of the day and how they relate to hip-hop culture.

I’m excited about this new segment. I will continue to do Know Your History episodes as well as artist interviews.

2) Polish two of my novels and get them ready for publishing.

I had to carry over this goal from last year. It’s something I really wanted to do in 2012 but I just didn’t get around to it. I didn’t put in the effort needed to make that happen. That is something I am going to correct this year. I hope.

3) Write something.

Last year at this time, I pledged to write both a screenplay and a novel. I did neither. This year, I hope to do at least one. That’s my goal.

4) Keep Fit.

I love skateboarding. I love going for trail runs. I will do both as often as I possibly can this year. You’re only as young as you feel and act, right?

5) Read a lot.

Last year, I kept a reading log of every single title I read over the year. I am going to do the same thing this year. Maybe I’ll have a friendly contest with myself to see if I can read at least 5 more titles. That would be 70 books in 2013.

6) Be the best teacher I can possible be.

I always reflect on what I do in the classroom. I try new things. I read a lot of articles, go to meetings and workshops, and apply my new knowledge. I want to reach every child I instruct. I know I am learning a lot this year in this new position and things will be even better for the 2013-2014 school year.

7) Spend quality time with the family.

This one is always a priority for me. I just haven’t written about it before. I haven’t had any need to. This one goes without saying and I don’t need reminders for it. Thankfully.

8) Keep track of all this stuff.

Here’s a great tip that Silverfish pointed me towards last year. I should have tried this last year.

“In a nutshell, the idea is to take a goal, and when you do something related to that goal, mark it on a wall calendar that displays a full year. Each day you do something towards your goal, write down a mark with a red pen, and after doing it multiple days, make a chain. From there, don’t break the chain.”

Michael Larsen

Thanks for the great idea. I am going to do that for sure this year. Just need to get a calendar now.

Happy New Year!

Have you set any goals for 2013.

Please share your thoughts or comments below!