The start of the year is always a little nerve-racking. So many things going on, new student, new colleagues and new lessons. So having to start thinking about professional growth may seem a bit stressful at first but I think it is also the right time. It is already when your thinking about what you have done previously and what you might want to change up so it kind of fits. Thinking about professional growth and the survey got me thinking about the differences between my classes. My Science 10 class I feel is very interactive and engaging, the students are often up moving around and taking part in a variety of tasks. Yet my IB Chemistry classes feel less interactive, more lecture-based. I know that there is more focus on content in the IB classes but I wonder why I feel so different about them and how I can bring back some of the creative tasks I used to do and how I can build curiosity in the students. It makes it hard to learn and harder to teach when I don’t feel creative.

I also realize that it is easier for the students to know you after a full year than it is for the students in Science 10 since they only have just met me. Last year I was concerned about how they thought I didn’t care about them and I realized that part of it was that they had only just met me before the survey so this year I would really like to see what my Grade 12’s have to say since I will have had them for more than a year now. I think that will give me a better idea of some of the 7C’s and a different perspective on them as well.

This year thinking about my Grade 12 IB Classes I have decided to think about the following:

Confer: I want to seek more feedback about learning activities from the students. I feel like in the IB program we worry about making sure that the students are being prepared for the assessments they will have to complete and sometimes this means we don’t check in often about what they think of the work.

Captivate: I want to look at increasing the curiosity of the students as often we feel the need to get through the content and ensure they are prepared for assessments, but I often feel that if I make them curious they will be more interested in the topic rather than just a grade. I want to try some of the activities that I have done previously in teaching IB that are more creative.

Consolidate: I want to make sure that I am summarizing the classes and making sure that I give students time to think about the material before leaving for the day. I want to try and limit the content and increase the in-class questions that they complete for practice.

Challenge: I want to look at increasing questioning in the classroom and make sure that I have various levels of practice questions for students, maybe even explicitly state their levels. I think by making some more creative and fun tasks it will make students think more about the materials and question deeper.

Yep a lot to start thinking about!  In some ways I think that they overlap and I know that what I think and what the students see may not be the same so I may have to refine these but I am happy with this as a start. Let see where it goes.