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End of year reflection

So, what can I say about 7C’s pilot program?

  • I think it is a great idea. I most definitely want to do it again, as I can see the potential for reflection and self-improvement.
  • I look forward to the upcoming improvements for support staff such as myself.
  • I do not like that as a learning support teacher, that my survey results were tied to one class.
  • I do not feel that my survey results could possibly be truly reflective of my actual impact on the learning in the classes I work in overall, and the individualized support I was able to give each of the students on my caseload (as well as students that weren’t on mycaseload).

I feel that the reflection I did and the intentionality that I practiced in the area of “Captivate” was quite successful. As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the areas that I was specifically mindful of how my, “vocal inflections, movements,  and mannerisms communicate(d) my enthusiasm and contribute(d) to capturing and holding student’s attention”. While I initially thought it would be much more difficult to channel this enthusiasm when I might be walking into what was actually the continuation of a double block of instruction, I noticed that it did not really matter. My conscious enthusiasm was stiil infectious and affected students in a positive way.

As the year went on, I also concentrated to incorporate my “Captivate” enthusiasm, with the training that we had embarked on as a ES team through our study of “The Power of Words” by Paula Denton. I found the intentional incorporation of these two ideas really seemed to work.

I feel as if I have practiced both enough in my teaching that they are more or less automatic now. That is not to say that I do not do a better job somedays than I do others (life does get in the way at times as much as we would like to think that it doesn’t), but I can say that I have felt a change and it seems that my students have as well. Having said this, I now must touch on a couple of the bullet points from above. It is unfortunate that my survey results ended up being in a class that I had less interaction with as the school year went on (there was just not as great a need due to my caseload for me to be in this particular class), therefore certainly causing an effect on my survey results. Even though the script I read to the class indicated that the students should not comment on certain questions if they were no applicable, I found that the response rate on a numer of these types of questions was almost 100%. It might be self-serving on my part to partially ignore the results from the surveys (especially the second one), but I am positive that they are not truly representative of my overall performance.

Even considering the faults that I’ve highlighted in the program as it pertains to support teachers in general, and me specifically, I still found a lot of value in the reflecting that I did concerning my teaching by looking at the spirit of the 7C’s framework. My second semester teaching was better than my first, and my fourth quarter would probably be my best. I credit much of this to my growth due to this program.

Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm

In reflecting on my being more intentional I have to say that I have been noticing the difference. At first it required setting reminders on my phone to be sure that I was going to be “intentionally” enthusiastic. Now I’m not talking wide eyed jumping up-and-down, spirit team type of enthusiasm, I’m talking intentional tone, voice, language, message, and body language. Sure, I might hear a slight groan when I greet students with, “isn’t this great…Monday morning”…but It can still elicit a smile even from the grumpy. I have noticed that my enthusiasm has paid some dividends. When I am being intentionally enthusiastic, my students seems to transition to being on task faster, are more attentive at the beginning of a mini-lesson, and have more stanima as they are going about their tasks. It does seems to be true, “enthusiasm does beget enthusiasm”!



One of the things I have been working on is to build student interest and excitement for lessons. In thinking about my practice I realize that I had more control over this than I had imagined. Of course, in lessons that I am presenting to individual and groups of students, it is a bit easier to do. Even when pushing into a class, while using a shadow teaching model, I am able to bring additional enthusiasm into a lesson. Mood and demeanor can be infectious. As we delved into the book, The Power of Our Words” by Paula Denton, the ES was discussing the effect that our, “Teacher Language” has on our students. A particular example of how our choice of words can influence students is in comparing two different ways to signal a transition to math. The first way involves giving a signal to students that is already a part of the class’ routine, ringing a chime, waiting for students to settle down, with intentional silence until there attention has been gained, then saying, “I see that everyone is ready for math. Let’s get started”. The second way might involve the raising of voice to say, “Okay settle down, everyone! Social time is over. We have to get to work on math now.” While both ways respond to the situation of transitioning to math, they both send very different messages. The first involves a class working together to achieve a mutual goal. It might even be fun. While the second is saying that the class should stop doing a pleasurable thing, and move on to the unpleasant work of doing math…a “have to”.  I realize that I need to be more intentional in the language that I use, and by doing so I can foster feelings of interest and excitement in a lesson. I have been adding this to my practice, and find that it actually works.


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