The thing that I think I do most successfully as a classroom teacher is to build rapport and relationships with the group and individuals. With the move to online learning last year, this took a backseat and navigating the difficulties of technology and digital learning took over. For much of last semester, the true joy of teaching – the connections with my students – was lost. I think for many of us, this allowed stress and demotivation to creep in. So, this time round, I am determined to make these connections, to make them meaningful and to sustain them. I must remember, even when the work is piling up, that if I feel disconnected from the class then my students are probably feeling the same way. The recent session with IFSEL reinforced the idea that it is ok to step away from course content for a while and to take the time to re-establish the connections with the group. I shall try to keep this at the forefront of my teaching this semester, to ensure that my students know I care.
I learned more last semester about the use of digital education tools than I have in my previous eleven years of teaching, thanks in part to the excellent example from members of my department. I have seen how certain platforms allow for student choice and creativity, and this is something I will continue to build on in this period of online learning.I hope this will help to captivate my students in what may prove to be a difficult situation for all.
Having said all this, I am returning to school with an extra class added to my schedule, bringing my workload up to four preps. I am nervous about this extra responsibility and I hope that I am able to manage my time effectively to ensure I can still care for and captivate my students. I am hopeful that I can achieve this through continued collaboration with my department. I truly believe I wouldn’t have got through last semester without their support. In return, I hope they know they can count on me for support when they need it.
Surprisingly, in direct contrast to my self-assessment at the start of the year, ‘captivate’ came out as my area of strength. My overall results are as follows:I have worked hard to build a relationship with the students and to inspire their learning and I am happy that this area has come out as a strength.
I am disheartened that my lowest area, by a significant margin, is the ‘care’ framework. I believed I had developed a strong rapport with the group, but this is clearly something I will need to address. The detailed results for the ‘care’ framework are below:
Looking in more detail, 35% of the class felt that I am unaware of when ‘something is bothering’ them. This is a shock to me and something I wish to address. I do feel, however, that this may be tied into my original observation that my work with EAL learners needs some development. Perhaps the EAL students in the class do not feel the same level of engagement as first-language students and this has shown itself under the care framework. Therefore, making improvements in the area of ‘care’ will become my new target. One way to address this will be through conferencing. By giving a little of my time to each student, both EAL and non-EAL students will be able to share their concerns and observations and, hopefully, will understand that they are valued and important in my classes. I may think about introducing a similar survey to this further down the line to see how my efforts in this area have been received.
Following the self-assessment, my initial observation is that surprisingly, ‘captivate’ has come out as an area in need of development. Looking at the wording of the self-assessment questions, I realised that my result could be because of a shortcoming in my use of technology in the classroom. I come from schools which have had terrible ICT infrastructure, so this is definitely an area I wish to develop.
Moving forward, my personal goal is as follows:
To improve my awareness of differing needs, with a particular focus on EAL learners, and to develop strategies to support them in and out of the class. I will use the ‘confer’ framework guidance as a way of regularly gathering feedback in order to review my practices and plan for future development.
Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.
- Decide on your goal, perhaps in consultation with your colleagues or principal, and create a post to share with this online professional learning community that you are now a part of! Categorise this post in Goal Setting. Set your goal by considering:
- Self-assessment and reflection based on new teacher standards (Tripod 7Cs)
- Previous or new observation data from peers and principals
- Student surveys (online surveys developed and aligned with 7C’s)
- Identify colleagues, coaches, principals etc. that will play a supporting role in achieving your goal, and invite them to view and comment on your post. Encourage them to bookmark your blog and visit regularly.
- Throughout the year, collect and share evidence to support your progress. Categorise these posts in Reflection.
- Encourage your colleagues to share your learning journey by engaging with your blog. In return, engage with their blog (and others across the School)
- You may also like to share work that your students have created or your own professional achievements that may not be directly related to your goal setting. This is encouraged! Categorise these posts as Showcase.
If you need support using this platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Tech, we are always happy to be of assistance!