Professional Growth is a mixed bag for me. That’s partly because I think I know what I need to work on, and partly because I keep having to work on the same things over and over. The breakthroughs are few. The progress is slow. It can get frustrating to receive feedback from others that seems out of my control, or that makes me think others don’t understand my challenges sufficiently, and maybe they wouldn’t give that feedback if they knew how badly I already feel about letting them down.
For the last two years I have distributed a survey and had the Middle School teachers, staff, and others who are on the Middle School mailing list give anonymous feedback. It’s usually about a 30% response rate. It would be really great to get that rate much higher this year. I’ll haver to think about ways to make the survey more accessible or rewarding for teachers.
Consistently, I rank low in the area of giving quality feedback to teachers. This is challenging because I am quite pressed for time and find it hard to make consistent time for classroom visits and leaving useful feedback. I also often feel I’m just not enough of an expert to give feedback that won’t be perceived as overly simplistic. And finally, my natural tendency is not toward being a super-positive and encouraging person. I tend to be very analytical, reserved, and quiet, so giving loads of feedback in a constructive way is time consuming and takes a lot of effort. All that said, I really do enjoy my time in classrooms when I can get it. And I enjoy engaging in professional dialogue. It seems a lot more satisfying in person than in written form. Regardless, this is something I really want to work on this year, and I’ll endeavor to place classroom visits more deliberately on my schedule to make it happen.
I’m also quite interested in participating more fully with teachers on professional development activities. I’ll do the SIOP/C6 training this year. Krista also invited me to attend a literacy workshop with her, and I’ve accepted. Perhaps as I engage in this learning I’ll have better ideas to share as I give feedback to teachers.
I’m looking forward to this year, and hope to be a part of a positive movement among all faculty members toward better professional networking and engagement with colleagues.