Setting this goal was no easy feat! Teachers seem to be naturally inclined towards a a continuous cycle of self reflection, growth and criticism. There were so many things that I could choose from, even things I perceive I do well, such as building positive classroom relationships and community, I can always do better!
It was tempting to revisit my goal from last year, especially with Jose Medina’s impending visit. Although, truthfully, I don’t really think that last year I ever really clarified and refined my goal for myself. I wanted to start afresh, with a move into the Dual Language program, I have a plethora of new opportunities for professional (and personal) growth.
One of my initial ideas was to focus on how to best use the multitude of people that I coordinate, plan and co-teach with for the benefits of our learners. These relationships and the consistency we try to generate, are vitally important for the success of the students we share. I also considered how I could contribute to the children’s development as bicultural learners as the English teacher in the Dual language program. Both are things I feel passionately about and hope that with guidance from the wonderful Judy Zhang with whom I teach most closely with, we will develop and continue to refine these skills as the year progresses.
Digging deep I decided to choose something I feel vulnerable and uncomfortable in… documentation. Defining what this goal really means, I discovered what I wanted to do most successfully was:
- Help the children document their learning consistently using Seesaw
- Keep accurate and relevant records which provide information of the children as learners
- Provide children with regular and meaningful feedback
I want the children to take ownership and show pride in their growth as learners and love that Seesaw also helps build connections between the school and home community. Secondly, managing 36 students can be quite a juggle! I need to make sure that I keep organised records in order to ensure that I am meeting every child where they are. These records will also help me to better understand my learners and to collaborate with other professionals who share them with me. And lastly, everyone needs to be told they are doing a good job sometimes! I have received not only some great feedback on my professional practice, but also encouragement which bolsters my confidence. These notes left for me are so important that I keep them, and look back on them often (see some samples attached below). Children need similar encouragement, and relevant feedback on their work. I want to ensure I give both feedback and encouragement to ALL students regularly, especially in tangible form, something they too can keep and look back on to keep them motivated and feeling successful, as well as help them grow.