As I began working through the online learning planner, I found out that my support role would shift from EAL to Intensive Learning Needs for the first few weeks of school. To help process this shift, I worked through one class students will have and what it will be like the first week of school. This helped me to think through my collaboration with the homeroom teacher, who is overseas, as well as my role in the classroom. The opportunity is an interesting one as it will allow the homeroom teacher to experiment with online learning while students are in the classroom with support for synchronous and asynchronous experiences. Hopefully, we will find some blended experiences that could work in online learning.
Connections with EAL
Working through the planner, I was also able to make connections with my role as an EAL teacher.
I appreciate the section focused on CARE. As a teacher this is one of my strengths, but it does require more thoughtfulness to carry it over into online learning.
I found the “SMALL GROUP” section to be less applicable to my teaching situations. When thinking about Intensive Learning Needs, I thought it might be more fitting for this section to be labeled “INTEGRATION”. Looking ahead to online learning later in the year, how could these students stay connected with a class that they have been a part of for certain parts of the day? Similarly, I found this idea of integration helpful for thinking about EAL lessons. As I plan synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences for small groups, how can I support them to be a part of synchronous whole class activities.
Areas of Growth
My roles this year will be different from my role last year, but I can still identify areas for growth. One would simply be increased COLLABORATION with my team, as last term I was working on individualized goals separate from what was happening in the classroom. From that collaboration, I would like to work on creating effective asynchronous learning experiences that both CAPTIVATE and support students in the classroom, in addition to the synchronous small group lessons we will have each day.
I hope to gain skills in preparing flipped lessons that I could bring back to the classroom, as well as maintain the same level of care online that I’m able to maintain at school.
The most significant thing I have taken away from orientation is a much stronger sense that I am a part of the ISB community. I feel a connection with what has happened and will be happening, even though I am new. I also have some clue about how to navigate my first days as an ISB teacher, and I know who to go to when I need support.
The first module provided a very clear presentation of the mission and vision, and I particularly connected to the ideas “joyful learning” and being “empowered with compassion”. I love the clear sense of purpose that drives what we do.
I also feel confident to begin my role as an EAL teacher, offering my experience and strengths to the team. Clear curriculum guidelines and expectations–particularly those that outline the role of support teachers allow for a focus on the students, rather than starting from scratch in our collaborative teams.Commitment to the SIOP model and lesson planning templates utilizing the model also enable better support of language learners.
I also feel a little less lost in the area of technology. While I may still have some questions, I know that I have the support I need to learn and utilize many new tools.
As we look ahead to the challenges of the coming semester, I’m excited to be part of a team that will face them together. Also, so excited to meet colleagues and see those returning to Beijing in the coming months.
After learning about the 7Cs Framework, I would say my strengths are:
Care. For the past four years I have been working as a learning support teacher, requiring intensive work one on one with students. I know my students strengths and weaknesses as learners, as well as in their character. I know about their interests, their friends, and their families. Even after students no longer had support from me, some would stop by to say hello, or would chat with me when I came into their classrooms. Some students’ parents have also shared their thanks for the relationship I have built with their children.
Aspects of Clarifyand Consolidate. My previous supervisors have given me positive feedback about my ability to explain concepts, answer questions, and make connections. As a teacher, I also feel this is an area that I find to be a natural strength. I often feel energized after a lesson where I’ve been able to make connections with prior learning, or find and address the area where a student was really struggling. However, I would say there are aspects of these areas where I can improve, particularly as I push in more to content classes and engage in more co-teaching.
I would say my weaknesses and potential areas to set goals for growth are:
Captivate. The past semester of online learning as well as potential for more online learning in the year to come, make this area a very obvious choice. When teaching fundamental language skills such as vocabulary, grammar, and phonics, how can I do better to engage students online? One obvious way is to grow in my ability to use technology as a tool, hopefully developing skills that can be used in person at school as well for online learning.
Aspects of Challenge. I think I can grow in how I ask questions or design tasks that push students to the next level in their thinking. I don’t think I always keep the end goal of the thinking required in a task in mind as I support students. I challenge them, but I think I can be more intentional in keeping next steps in mind.
I think I can count the few times I’ve been observed by my supervisor as part of an evaluation process. I can probably count on one hand the number of times my supervisor actually sat down to talk with me about an observation. For a large part of my career as an educator, I’ve had to gather feedback and find ways to grow on my own. Honestly, my first reaction seeing the professional growth model is one of relief, as it is incredibly exhausting to try to figure out how to grow as a teacher on your own.
When I taught college students in China, I would collect feedback at the end of each semester. This was not the school’s practice, but I really appreciated the feedback I got from students. I am curious to see what the surveys for younger students look like as well as the reporting of their feedback. I do have questions about accessibility for English language learners as well as how engaged students are in the process.
For the past few years, I have been at a school that used a traditional system of evaluation for teacher appraisal. Many teachers found the system stressful. For those in support roles, we were often left to figure things out on our own–How did the rubrics relate to our work? How could we set goals that fit with the school’s requirements for our goals? And how could we carry out the suggested goals from our supervisor with minimal follow-up? My initial impression is that ISB’s model provides more autonomy to teachers as they choose their goals, while at the same time providing a structure for more feedback and support.
The year before this past year, I was fortunate to have a supervisor who did have more time to understand my work and offer genuine feedback for areas I could grow. There were formal observations and conversations about those observations, but also many informal observations, conversations, and feedback along the way. This is the closest experience I have had to ISB’s model. I grew so much that year as a teacher–so I am excited for the process and what it holds.
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!